The Cardinals signing JJ Watt to 2 yr deal is the def. equivalence to Bucs signing Tom Brady. Gives the team and fans instant adrenaline, cred and hope. Plus Watt, like Brady, should attract free agents. Imagine Zach Allen now getting to play with and learn from his idol.— Walter B J Mitchell (@WBJMItch) March 1, 2021
Haason Reddick is still the present and future at 34 SAM OLB. Cards & HR will work a contract out. SAM--Reddick; LDE---Allen; NT-Fotu; RDE-Watt; BANDIT---Jones; Cards learned that taking Chandler out of BANDIT over to 34 SAM OLB for Suggs was a mistake. Shouln't happen again.— Walter B J Mitchell (@WBJMItch) March 1, 2021
Biggest/happiest winner of Cardinals' JJ Watt signing? Try 34 WILL ILB Isaiah Simmons. With JJ Watt and Chandler Jones to his side, not since the Cards had 34 DE Calais Campbell and 34 BANDIT Dwight Freeney has the 34 WILL been this well protected and free to make plays.— Walter B J Mitchell (@WBJMItch) March 1, 2021
JJ Watt said that his decision would be tied to playing for a team with a QB he likes. Well here we go! https://t.co/PaFZQabt5Y— Walter B J Mitchell (@WBJMItch) March 1, 2021
Just heard from Gambo that Chandler Jones was one of the main recruiters for JJ Watt.— Walter B J Mitchell (@WBJMItch) March 1, 2021
How J.J. Watt Improves the Cardinals Defense:
- Equally strong at stopping the run as he is in rushing the passer. All-around elite defender.
- Can play inside at 34 DE and then outside or inside on the nickel pass rush.
- Commands double teams at 34 DE which keeps ILBs clean and BANDIT OLB (Chandler Jones) in more single blocker situations.
- Fiery, intense leader who demands that he and his teammates be held accountable.
- Makes the Cardinals’ pass rush with Chandler Jones, Haason Reddick, Jordan Phillips, Zach Allen and Dennis Gardeck potentially elite.
Fellow UFA Texans (Present and Former) Who Might Want to Sign with Cardinals:
- C Nick Martin (28) —- has always been a very good pass blocker, and more of a zone scheme run blocker.
- CB Gareon Conley (26) —- missed the 2020 season rehabbing from ankle surgery. PFF thinks he’ll get a $2.5M prove it deal in 2021, possibly re-signing with the Texans at that figure. But maybe the former 1st round pick of the Raiders from Ohio St. would like to join J.J. Watt in Arizona. Here’s what PFF says:
A former first-round pick, Conley has had his ups and downs, grading out at 64.5 and 64.0 in his two full seasons. He missed all of the 2020 season. Conley is better in man coverage, as he’s graded in the 69th percentile in single coverage compared to just the 37th percentile in zone since entering the league. He’s also forced incompletions on 22.2% of his targets, the second-best rate in the NFL since 2017. Conley is worth a look in a man-heavy system.
- WR Will Fuller (27)—- was having one of his best years in 2020 (86.2), but got busted for a PED violation and was suspended 6 games (last 5 games of the year), with the last one carrying over to Week 1 this season. Because of the PED violation and Fuller’s injury history, there’s a chance that he would take a one year prove-it deal in order to re=establish his market value for free agency on 2022. When healthy, Fuller is a blazer who backs off CBs and FSs.
- CB Phillip Gaines (30) —- has always flashed good speed and talent, but has never quite put it all together. 59.9 PFF grade this past season. Could be signed for the minimum, plus incentives.
- CB Jonathan Joseph (36) —- Cardinals liked the leadership and skill he brought to them late last season. Now J-Joe has all the more reason to stay in Arizona. 65.4 PFF grade in 2020.
- CB A.J. Bouye (29) —-thought of as more of a zone CB, Bouye has struggled maintaining his Pro Bowl status of a few years back. 55.6 PFF grade in 7 games for Broncos in 2020 giving up 63% completions for 251 yards (38 yds. a game) and 2 TDs with 6 pass breakups and 0 interceptions. Has always been a good, physical tackler.