“Happy BirdDay”

I can gladly say I’ve had a front-row seat to watch J.J. Watt. He was drafted in 2011 in a class that consisted of Cam Newton, Von Miller, Julio Jones, Mark Ingram, Richard Sherman, and Patrick Peterson to name a few. It’s one of the better draft classes. Just a few weeks ago, the Houston Texans released the veteran defensive end. The speculations have been all over the place. Last week, reports surfaced that he narrowed his choices to three teams: The Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, and Tennessee Titans. All three could’ve used him. It’s always the teams that you least expect to come in and make their move. This season, J.J. will play football for the Arizona Cardinals. He’s signed a two-year, $31 million deal with $23 million in guaranteed money.

I understand injuries have affected him for many years. However, when he’s healthy, he can still make an impact. J.J. may not be the dominant force when he won three defensive MVPs in four years, but he is still a serviceable defender. J.J. is what I refer to as a “jump around defender”. When you think you have him blocked, he can jump around and shed a block very easily. He finds ways to get to the ballcarrier or in the backfield. As a pass rusher, he can do several things such as bullrush. J.J. has the phenomenal speed for a man his size. Pass rushers are expected to create pressure. It’s just not recording sacks. You can still affect the quarterback’s pocket by getting there and making him hesitate. J.J. has made a living by doing this his entire career.

I like this move for the Arizona Cardinals. It gives them a veteran on that defense that struggled to rush the passer. They were a mess without Chandler Jones in 2020. Adding J.J. to the mix with Chandler, Buddha Baker, Patrick Peterson, and Isaiah Simmons look nice on paper. Let’s see how it all pans out when football returns. The NFC West just became more interesting after this move.

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