Browns: J.J. Watt a free agent, how much will it take to sign him?

Browns J.J. Watt
Browns J.J. Watt /

The time for the Browns to pounce on signing J.J. Watt is now.

The Browns must sign J.J. Watt, now that the former three-time Defensive Player of the Year and the Houston Texans have parted ways.

Watt broke the news via a video posted to his Twitter account.

While it’s great Watt is now a free agent and the Browns can sign him without having to give anything up, things may not be so easy.

Cleveland will now be competing with other teams for the veteran All-Pro. Watt was due $17.5 million in 2021, and the Browns reportedly have around $22 million in cap space. But the fact there wasn’t a trade is a good indication that Watt wasn’t going to voluntarily take a pay cut.

In an ideal scenario, Cleveland would’ve traded for Watt, re-worked his deal and lowered his cap number for 2021.

As a free agent, Watt can now pick his price. Of course, time will tell if he’ll be able to get anything close to 2021 salary.

Jadeveon Clowney, a player who the Browns were interested in last offseason, ended up signing a one-year, $12 million contract. The Brown reportedly offered him a contract that would’ve paid him $15 million for 2020.

With this in mind, you’ve got to figure the Browns aren’t going to get a year of Watt for anything less than what Clowney signed for, considering J.J. is the superior player.

Not signing Clowney turned out to be a Godsend for the Browns, as Clowney was injured, and when he did play, was ineffective.

Adding Watt would be a no-brainer for Cleveland. The veteran may not be the elite talent he once was, but he’s still very, very good. The Browns are in a position to win now and Watt would help them accomplish the franchise’s goal of winning its first Super Bowl.

Piggy-backing that though, look no further than a recent mock that had the Browns taking Jayson Oweh, an edge rusher from Penn State with the 26th pick in the draft.

Sure, this prospect has talent, but he didn’t record a sack last season. Perhaps he turns out, but maybe he doesn’t. We’re trying to win a Super Bowl here, and there’s no guarantee Oweh helps get that done.

Watt, on the other hand…If he’s healthy and playing against Myles Garrett…well, I like our chances.

To finally topple Patrick Mahomes, the Browns must replicate Tampa Bay’s speed on defense. That means generating a pass rush with four rushers. Kansas City usually beats this tactic by having Mahomes get the ball out early.

Tampa’s speed on defense, particularly with its linebackers and corners, made this hard for the Chiefs to accomplish in the Super Bowl.

By signing Watt, the Browns could allocate their resources in the draft elsewhere in an effort to get faster in the secondary or at linebacker.

Next. How the Browns pitch a perfect game in free agency. dark

Since Watt was technically released, the Browns don’t have to wait for free agency to start. The time to pounce is a player who can help win the Super Bowl is waiting to be plucked.