Opinion: JJ Watt Is Just the Player the Arizona Cardinals Needed to Take Their Defense to the Next Level

Published 03/07/2021, 3:06 PM EST


JJ Watt has been one of the most prolific pass rushers in the league ever since being drafted by the Houston Texans back in the 2011 NFL Draft. So, when the player took the decision to move on from Houston earlier this offseason, fans across the NFL hoped that their side would pick up Watt as a free agent.

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And in the end, it was the Arizona Cardinals who put the best offer on the table for JJ Watt. Now a Cardinal, many believe that following Watt’s down year in 2020, he’s not the same player that he once used to be.

But, there’s also plenty of reason to believe that the former three-time NFL defensive player of the year will be as disruptive for opposing offenses as ever with his new franchise.

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JJ Watt a welcome addition to the Cardinals front 7

JJ Watt has been one of the most elite pass rushers in the NFL for almost a decade now. Ever since playing his first snap in the league, the defensive end has accumulated over 101 sacks.

And while 2020 was a relatively quiet year for Watt, not all of it can be blamed on the player. The Texans franchise overall struggled to replicate the form that once made them playoff contenders.

The Cardinals, though, are in a different phase. Slowly buying into the idea of head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the franchise barely missed out on making the playoffs last season.

What’s more exciting is the prospect of seeing Watt line up alongside Chandler Jones in the Cardinals’ front 7. Jones, drafted a year after Watt, has been almost equally as good, if not better than Watt.

Jones has 97 career sacks so far and with pass rushers of Watt and Jones’ caliber on the same side, opposing teams will have a tough time beating the Cardinals’ pass rush.

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Watt will be surrounded by a plethora of other great defensive talent around him as well. Star safety, Budda Baker, and second-year linebacker, Isaiah Simmons, are both expected to have big seasons in 2021. And having someone like Watt in the locker room will definitely help the side lift their game to the next level.

So with Watt in their arsenal, are the Arizona Cardinals going to be a ring-chasing team in 2021?

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Shivayan Roy

751 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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