The question on what the Arizona Cardinals paid J.J. Watt will only come up if it doens’t work.
However, it is interesting to watch how teams disseminate information to local insiders to get the narrative out how they want to.
It started with Arizona’s own John Gambadoro reporting that the Cardinals did not offer Watt the most money.
The deal JJ Watt signed with the Cardinals was NOT the most he was offered. The Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts each offered more money. Tennessee's offer was very similar.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) March 1, 2021
That was refuted by Indianapolis Colts reporter Stephen Holder, who didn’t want to make it a thing, but had some good thoughts.
I don’t want to get into a back and forth, but lots of you are asking me, so here goes...— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) March 2, 2021
I know there was a report out of Arizona that JJ Watt turned down bigger money from the Colts. However, I got a VERY strong denial on that. I’m not even certain they made a big push TBH.
Holder went on to ask a question on whether it would make sense that Watt would turn down a team that made the playoffs and was close to winning a playoff game and allegedly was offering more money?
That’s a fair question.
I think in the end, Jess Root broke it down nicely, the Cardinals were extremely aggressive in their pursuit of Watt.
It wasn’t just management, you had players like Chandler Jones an DeAndre Hopkins making a hard push for Watt.
The Cardinals are trying to turn over their own new leaf in the league. The effort with Watt will go a long way in those things, as Jess highlighted:
Team president and owner Michael Bidwill picked Watt and his wife up in his private jet and flew them into Arizona. Then, they rented out a swanky restaurant in Scottsdale to celebrate the signing with Watt. Watt, his wife, Bidwill, Keim, head coach Kliff Kingsbury and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph were all there.
I am willing to bet the Cardinals knew they had one shot to make Watt feel like he was wanted to most in Arizona, they took that shot and made it.
Bravo to them.