Even though free agency is still more than two weeks away, one of the biggest names on the open market has already found a new team: defensive end J.J. Watt, who was released by the Houston Texans in February, took to social media to announce that he has signed with the Arizona Cardinals. The team later confirmed the news.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Watt has signed a two-year contract with the Cardinals worth a total of $31 million and with $23 million in guarantees — a deal reflective of Watt’s status as one of the league’s premier defenders even as he will turn 32 later this month.
Watt will now team up with former Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and also join a defense that includes one of the best pass rushers in the NFL: former New England Patriots first-round draft pick Chandler Jones should be one of the beneficiaries of the signing.
As for the Patriots, they will not meet Watt and the Cardinals in 2021 but might do so next year: if the two teams finish in the same spot in the standings, and the NFL decides to keep its expected 17-game scheduling format for the regular season, New England could have to go against Arizona in 2022.