Can the Cleveland Browns win the 2021 offseason?
They are the favorites to land former Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, according to BetOnline:
The Cleveland Browns are now set as the -150 favorite at BetOnline to sign J.J. Watt.
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) February 16, 2021
The five-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro veteran finished 2020 with the sixth-most tackles for loss (14).
On February 12, 2021, the Texans released arguably their best player in franchise history.
Just a couple of days ago, Cleveland was not favored to sign Watt.
However, Watt reportedly is seriously considering signing with the Browns.
He was by far the best defensive player for the Texans.
Watt recorded 101 sacks, 172 tackles for loss, 25 forced fumbles, and 16 fumble recoveries with Houston.
If the Browns can bring Watt to Cleveland, that would be the beginning of what hopes to be an impressive offseason.
Maybe NBA star C.J. McCollum can help the Browns bring in the star defensive end.
How Can Watt Help the Browns?
The 2020 Browns team made the postseason for the first time since 2002.
However, there are many areas to improve.
The only major defensive category in which the Browns were in the top 10 was rushing defense:
- 21st in points allowed (23rd in average points per drive)
- 17th in yards allowed (21st in average yards per drive)
- 22nd in passing yards allowed
- 25th in passing touchdowns allowed
- Ninth in rushing yards allowed
- 14th in rushing touchdowns allowed
- 12th in rushing yards allowed per attempt
The addition of Watt could be huge for the 2021 Browns.
Watt led the league in sacks twice and three times in tackles for loss in his career.
He has three NFL Defensive Player of the Year trophies as well.
He is also the first NFL player to register multiple 20-sack seasons.
The 11th overall pick of the 2011 draft would be a tremendous asset for the Browns.
In addition, the impressive part about Watt’s 2020 season is that he played all 16 games.
Watt recorded five sacks and 17 quarterback hits last year.
That season came after playing just eight games in 2019.
He also played in just eight contests combined in 2016 and 2017.
In 2018, Watt’s seven forced fumbles led the NFL.
Watt will enter the 2021 season as a 32-year-old, but he did hit the quarterback in each of his last six games of 2020.
He was also double-teamed more than any edge rusher in the NFL in 2020:
JJ Watt and Za’Darius Smith were Nos. 1 and 2 in the NFL among edge defenders in rate at which they were double-teamed last season, according to ESPN Stats & Info, as @RobDemovsky pointed out. Green Bay would certainly fit this criteria. https://t.co/GBOLHaMXtc
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) February 16, 2021
His ability to get to the quarterback and command an offensive line would be sure to improve the Browns defense.
Will the Browns be a Top-10 Defense in 2021?
The Browns will also be getting back reinforcements in different areas of the 2021 defense.
Grant Delpit and Greedy Williams are expected to return for the beginning of the upcoming season.
The Browns allowed at least 35 points in six different games, including the playoffs, and at least 30 points in eight contests.
Cleveland needs a defensive force on the end to help pressure the quarterback.
Watt can be that presence for the 2021 Browns and they could potentially be a top-10 defense in 2021.
In the 2021 draft, Cleveland can also bolster the defense as well.
The Browns could be a powerhouse in 2021, and it would be impressive to see the team firing on all cylinders in the upcoming season.
A Watt signing could be the beginning of a great offseason for the Browns.