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The Steelers are the odds-on favorite to sign J.J. Watt by many betting sites, but it appears that he might want to sign with a division foe of the Steelers. According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, Watt is “seriously considering” making his way to Cleveland to play for the Browns. Cabot lists the two biggest reasons why he wants to join the Browns -- money and a potential Super Bowl.
Compared to other teams linked to the Watt sweepstakes like the Steelers, Packers, Bills, Seahawks Titans and Bears -- the Browns have 21.7 million in cap space, which is by far the most among the group of teams.
Watt, who turns 32 in March is also in the late stage of his career and wants a ring. The Buccaneers could also be another team Watt is interested in, who have around $14.8 million in cap space. He would really be ring chasing if he were to sign with Tampa Bay.
The Browns have a young franchise quarterback in Baker Mayfield and a dominating run game with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, along with one of the best offensive lines in the league. They made it to the divisional-round game this past year and gave the Chiefs their best shot, but ultimately lost, 22-17.
The defense also has All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett, who would pair well with the three-time Defensive Player of the Year. Cabot also mentions that supporting cast and team culture are also two high priorities for Watt. Under the leadership of NFL Coach of the Year Kevin Stefanski and a Browns' roster loaded with talent, it could be a great fit.
However, would Watt want to join a rival of the Steelers and play his brothers T.J. and Derek twice a year? Who knows, but if he wants a ring, Cleveland might be the best spot to do it while still getting paid handsomely. Watt was due to make $17.5 million in 2021, and will probably be looking for around the same amount in free agency. Cleveland has the cap space to pay Watt what the market dictates.