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Pastor Dillon

JJ Watt's long term future

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Such a gut punch to lose Watt. If anyone can come back from 2 serious injuries like this, its Watt. 

being realistic, hes never going to be the same player he once was, as he was showing that coming back from back surgery might have been enough to knock him down a few notches. 

the question becomes buisness vs heart.

Watt is an amazing guy to have on this team, this city and is an all around great guy. How much pass does he get if he isnt able to recover? He has a MASSIVE salary hit in the coming years. In theory we could cut him next year and save a ton of money, but that isnt going to happen. The question is really for the 2019 off season. what would we do? Do we pay the man based on how good hes been for the city or do we do what makes the most sense for the football team.

here is his Cap hit over the next few seasons

2018 - 15 million

2019 - 15 million

2020 - 15.5 million

2021 - 17.5 million

Starting in 2018, we could actually save a lot of money by cutting him, which i am not advocating for in the least.

Its just a really interesting place we find ourselves with a guy who has been so good and so dominate and is being paid like it, and now his career is probably not over, but his production is probably over. 

any chance he renegotiates his deal in a year or two?

 

 

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Watt is not the type of player who is going to hang around and taint his legacy collecting paychecks if he's not able to do the job to his standard. 

From a cap standpoint his deal enters the "pay if you play" portion next year as he could retire tomorrow and cost the Texans only $6 million in dead space which is $3 million less than Osweiler is burning again this year.   The Texans have no cap worries in the foreseeable future with a franchise QB operating on a rookie deal and very little tied up in "upside down" salaries like Cushing's which will be gone next year. We need talent, not cap space.

From a injury standpoint, I would have been more concerned if it were another back injury, but his knees are the one area that have not been effected by injury before, so physically, I'm relatively confident he can return and still be one of the best DE's in the sport.  The bigger issue is going to be the mental task of coming to grips with the damage this sport does to his body and whether it is worth it anymore. If there ever was a guy who could find the intestinal fortitude to work his way all the way back a 3rd time, he's the guy.

From a Texans perspective.  JJ Watt on our football field is and will always be a bargain.  Even with the bulk of the past two season's lost to injury and concerns about his long-term health, if I'm drafting for a DE tomorrow, JJ Watt is my #1 pick as the potential of him returning to even 90% of himself is worth 2 Olivier Vernon's.  

From a human perspective, I am hoping that JJ Watt is absolutely inundated with Houstonian's and NFL fans supporting him and lifting him up.  Gotta be a scary, awful time for him and he was there to lift us. I love a good salary cap hypothetical as much as anyone, but there is no possible way to quantify the value of JJ Watt to this franchise, this city, or this sport, so I'd rather just pray he gets better and will support whatever decision HE makes going forward.  If it's playing more football and adding to his hall of fame legacy, that would be great, but if he said "I've given enough" part of me would be just as happy, even knowing we're not going to fill that hole literally or figuratively for a long-time. 

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I feel devastated for Watt. He came back from two major back surgeries to have his season cut short for the second consecutive year. We are unsure at this stage if JJ wants to continue to put his body through this punishment. Obviously we are hoping he does decide to come back and keep playing.... Firstly I'll just say I don't think his contract is anything for the team to worry about right now. Perhaps in a few years when we are paying our younger guys but not anytime soon... 

I think if JJ does decide to come back we should try using him a bit differently. I think whats best for him and the team is at least early in the season put him on a snap count and don't ask him to take the whole defense on his back. If we think about how he was used this year; after basically no preseason action he is thrust into the lineup playing 90%+ defensive snaps. If you guys watch the last drive against NE he was gasping for air as Brady shredded our secondary. He took a beating in the five games he played this season. Teams where chipping him with TE or backs and a guard waiting to help the tackle if he pulled an inside move. If I'm defensive co-ordinator I'm telling him to come back next year 10-15 pounds lighter and being a third down rusher and a situational player at least early in the season. I don't think we can keep lining him up over guards and absorbing double teams thats not what he does well. Keep Heath and Covington here to plug gaps and lets be a bit smarter with how we use JJ going forward.

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7 minutes ago, OzzyTexan said:

I think if JJ does decide to come back we should try using him a bit differently

Completely wild and random thought - next season, would you consider putting Watt at the OLB spot currently played by Jadevion Clowney, and putting Clowney at Watt's 5-tech spot? 

We've seen Clowney thrive at the 5-tech, he's actually a better fit when he's playing with his hand down. Watt has impeccable instincts and could lessen the impact on his body by playing the edge and getting some 1v1 matchups attacking the outside.

Probably not a great idea, but not the worst idea, right?

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2 hours ago, EliteTexan80 said:

Completely wild and random thought - next season, would you consider putting Watt at the OLB spot currently played by Jadevion Clowney, and putting Clowney at Watt's 5-tech spot? 

We've seen Clowney thrive at the 5-tech, he's actually a better fit when he's playing with his hand down. Watt has impeccable instincts and could lessen the impact on his body by playing the edge and getting some 1v1 matchups attacking the outside.

Probably not a great idea, but not the worst idea, right?

He would have to rush the passer every play. Watt doesnt have the ability to cover anyone, especially after the injury. I think moving forward we need to say all the right things, build Watt up as if hes still the beast he once was, and then basically get a 1/2 season of him being a decoy before people realize hes not the same guy he once was. 

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31 minutes ago, texans_uk said:

4 man front? 

Watt LDE, Clowney RDE? 

I'd be OK with that.

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1 hour ago, EliteTexan80 said:

I'd be OK with that.

Would mean less double teams for JJ.

Could also mix it up far more with the blitzes, with JJ being the decoy. 

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3 hours ago, texans_uk said:

4 man front? 

Watt LDE, Clowney RDE? 

The problem with both Clowney and Watt at DE is their injuries. The torque and leg drive both need to play DE and taking a consistent beating is too much at DE. If we want to prolong their careers we will use them as stand up players more often, but it sucks because both are better players at DE. 

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2 hours ago, amazingandre said:

The problem with both Clowney and Watt at DE is their injuries. The torque and leg drive both need to play DE and taking a consistent beating is too much at DE. If we want to prolong their careers we will use them as stand up players more often, but it sucks because both are better players at DE. 

Given this, does anyone think we start shifting over to a more traditional 34 look? Get Watt/Clowney/Mercilius rotating at the OLB spots, bring in some traditional 34 DEs and a traditional NT?

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8 hours ago, EliteTexan80 said:

Completely wild and random thought - next season, would you consider putting Watt at the OLB spot currently played by Jadevion Clowney, and putting Clowney at Watt's 5-tech spot? 

We've seen Clowney thrive at the 5-tech, he's actually a better fit when he's playing with his hand down. Watt has impeccable instincts and could lessen the impact on his body by playing the edge and getting some 1v1 matchups attacking the outside.

Probably not a great idea, but not the worst idea, right?

Absolutely this is the kind of thing I'm talking about with him coming back a bit lighter and taking some off his plate. I don't think JJ can play outside LB, but he can rush the passer. I think they need to discuss ways of using him without him playing 90% of our defensive snaps and perhaps having him fresh on Brady's last drive of the NE game. If JJ was willing to play 50-75% of defensive snaps it might keep him from getting so beat up early in the season.

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