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J.J. Watt agrees to a 2-year contract with Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. – Free agent pass rusher J.J. watt has a two-year contract with Cardinals of Arizonathe team announced on Monday.

The terms were not disclosed, but a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the deal is worth $ 31 million and guarantees $ 23 million.

Before the Cardinals announced the deal, Watt brought the news by posting a photo on Twitter:

Watt later stated that he and his wife Kealia would fly to Arizona from Cardinal owner Michael Bidwill. He tweeted two photos, one of him is posing with Bidwill and the other of him and his wife are in Bidwill’s plane.

“I’m looking forward to getting started,” said Watt on the tarmac after the plane landed. “Very excited to go to work and get to know the people of Arizona.”

Watt, 31, was from the Houston Texans, WHO granted his application on February 12thand finished his 10 year run with the franchise.

Four days later, Watt’s former Texas teammate and current Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins Posted on Instagram a photo of himself and Watt edited to wear a cardinal’s uniform with the caption: “Let’s finish what we started …”

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Stephen A. Smith says J.J. Watt drives the Cardinals onslaught wild when he joins ex-teammate DeAndre Hopkins in Arizona.

Hopkins responded to Monday’s news by tweeting: “Life in Arizona is good!”

Watt will reunite with Vance Joseph, the Cardinals ‘defensive coordinator, who was the Texans’ defensive coach for Watt’s first three seasons in Houston.

In Arizona, Watt is paired with another pass rusher Chandler Joneswho has sacked the NFL since drafted at 97 in the 2012 first round. Second during this period is Watt with 95.5.

Watt’s addition meant minimal changes to the Cardinals’ odds for the 2021 season from Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill. Your chances of winning the Super Bowl remain 40-1 and the NFC 20-1. Arizona’s chances of winning NFC West rose from 7-1 to 6-1, still the longest chance of the four teams in the division.

“The only thing I can promise you is that I’ll cut my ass off every day to make you proud,” said Watt. “Very proud to be part of the Bird Gang and the Red Sea.”

In 2020, according to ESPN Stats & Information Research, Watt ranked 15th among 119 qualified pass rushers on the pass rush win rate. He ended the season with five sacks, two forced fiddles, and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown. He was recently plagued by injuries after playing only 16 games in one season twice since 2015.

After the Texans moved in at number 11 in 2011, Watt became the face of the franchise, winning three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards from 2012 to ’15. Watt is one of three players to win this award three times.

Watt, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time all-pro senior team, was by far the most productive pass rusher in Texan’s history with 101 career sacks.

Sarah Barshop from ESPN contributed to this report.

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