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Browns' best sales pitch to J.J. Watt: No more double-teams


free agency is wild.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 17, 2021 That should come as no surprise, as teams jockey to land the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, who was recently let go by the Texans.Watt, who will be 32 on March 22, is no longer quite the pass-rusher he was the last time he won the award in 2015. But he's still disruptive, and could continue to flourish with a better supporting cast than he had in Houston.Watt has several intriguing options. The Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans are among those who reportedly are vying for his services. All three teams will have Super Bowl aspirations in 2021. Other contenders will be making their pitches, as well. But the budding Browns also have plenty to offer -- including, most notably, an end to all those constant double teams.In 2020, Watt faced a double-team a league-high 30.1% of the time. Despite that, he still proved to be a difference maker. Watt only finished with five sacks, a career-low in a 16-game season. But he also ranked seventh in the NFL with 13 disrupted dropbacks (a sack, interception or tipped or defended pass), according to ESPN Stats & Info, including a 19-yard pick-six on Thanksgiving Day in Houston's victory over the Detroit Lions. On top of that, he was one of only seven defensive linemen to finish with a run stop and pass rush win rate topping 20% last year.With Myles Garrett playing on the opposite side, J.J. Watt would figure to get plenty of one-on-one opportunities against blockers with the Browns. Jason Miller/Getty ImagesLast season, Cleveland's offense ranked sixth in efficiency behind a powerful running game and resurgent campaign from quarterback Baker Mayfield. But the Browns' defense struggled at times, even with Garrett wrecking offenses up front. The charge won't get any easier moving forward with QBs Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson standing in the way in the AFC.Watt would give the Browns the veteran presence up front they're going to...
ESPN     Feb 19, 2021

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