It sounds like the Browns chances of signing J.J. Watt depend on what he thinks of Baker Mayfield.
If J.J. Watt is to join the Browns–and they look to be on the short list–the decision may come down to what the three-time Defensive Player of the Year thinks of Baker Mayfield.
This assumption is derived from Ed Werder’s Tweet, which states Watt prioritized his next team depending on 1. Quarterback, 2. Team personnel, 3. money.
The last two are easy to scratch off, as the Browns, with over $21 million in cap space, should be able to equal any other team’s best offer.
As for personnel, the Browns play a 4-3 front that would allow Watt to play on the edge, opposite of none other than Myles Garrett.
That leaves quarterback as the only question that needs to be answered in Watt’s mind.
For fans who worried Mayfield was going to be nothing more than a game manger in Kevin Stefanski’s system, the former Heisman winner changed their minds, balling out in the second half to become the team’s clear MVP of the second half.
Entering year four, Mayfield is an ascending player who’s going into his first pro offseason in which he won’t be required to learn a new offensive system.
Packer fans will be quick to point to Aaron Rodgers for checking box No. 1, but they still have some heavy lifting to do with their salary cap.
Green Bay recently saved $8.3 in cap space by restricting David Bakhtiari’s contract, but even so, the Packers are at lest $20 million under the projected 2021 salary cap.
Unfortunately, this deficit doesn’t take Green Bay out of the running. The cap can be manipulated. We all know it and have seen it done before.
For the first time in his career, Watt is free to pick his next team. “Free agency is Wild,” he tweeted Feb. 17.