Scouts See J.J. Watt as Player Who Can Put Team Like Packers ‘Over the Top’

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers have an curiosity in signing former All-Pro J.J. Watt, and the Wisconsin native presumably has an curiosity in listening to the staff’s gross sales pitch.

Can it occur? And ought to it?

Financially, signing Watt would present a major fiscal challenge unless he’s willing to play for the ultimate hometown discount. But what if Watt wants to play for something at least close to market value, which one high-ranking team executive pegged to be in the $10 million to $12 million range? Would he be worth the additional financial gymnastics required to not just get beneath the cap but to add Watt to the payroll?

On the surface, the answer might be no.

By the official league stats, Watt had only five sacks, 17 quarterback hits and two forced fumbles in 16 games last season. For context:

– In eight games in 2019, Watt had four sacks, 21 quarterback hits and one forced fumble.

– In 2018, when he also played 16 games, he had 16 sacks, 25 quarterback hits and a league-high seven forced fumbles.

– When he played all 16 games in 2011 through 2015 as well as 2019, he averaged 15.1 sacks, 39 quarterback hits and 3.7 forced fumbles. That includes two of the dozen 20-sack seasons since sacks became an official stat in 1982.

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