There are few superstars in the NFL, but the Houston Texans have one in J.J. Watt, making the trade rumors involving him all the more bizarre.
NFL trade rumors are bound to pop up prior to free agency and the 2017 NFL Draft. It is the nature of the business. Rarely, though, are the trade rumors about a cornerstone player like Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.
The Texans are on the cusp of competing for a Super Bowl and are just a quarterback away. The defense on which the team is created around is headed by Watt. It is his temple that he has erected, consecrated, and preached in for years.
Measuring the value of a player based on his surrounding counterparts simply doing their jobs is an unfair measurement. Further, calling a 9-7 season a baseline for a team with that talented of a defense is ridiculous.
At this point the Texans defense has to be weighed more heavily than the Texans offense. The defense is not balanced by a competent quarterback, making the reliance on the defense greater. Taking away a stud player, a player the defense was built on, is not going to help ease that burden. The Texans didn’t manage to go 9-7 on the strength of the defense because Watt was out of the lineup. The Texans managed to go 9-7 on the strength of the defense in spite of Watt not being in the lineup.
The Texans could be a 10-win (or more) team with Watt still around to play defensive end (and occasionally catch touchdown passes). That is increasingly more important in an AFC South that saw the Tennessee Titans tie the Texans at 9-7, the Indianapolis Colts a game away at 8-8, and a Jacksonville Jaguars squad that seems convinced that head coach Gus Bradley was its only problem. 9-7 won’t cut it for the fourth-straight year.
Trading away Watt would severely handicap the Texans team. It would show an internal disconnect from the front office, essentially telling players their value is less no matter how talented they are. It would also take away the franchise superstar icon that the team desperately needs.
Trading J.J. Watt at this point is nothing more than an unnecessary hot-take bordering on crazy. The Houston Texans would be wise to complete discount it. Who knows, they may be rewarded with Watt setting furthering his NFL record with another 20+ sack season.