Cleveland Browns fans are going through the usual exercise of seeing every possible free agent available and debating whether the team should sign one or the others.
J.J. Watt is in focus now after being released by the Houston Texans.
The Browns are naturally being linked to Watt because of cap space and the fact they are expected to be a true contender in 2021.
Other teams are being held back by cap issues after a year where revenues were down because of limited attendance.
An Action Network article from the weekend shared the odds, courtesy of PointsBet, of teams and their likelihood to sign Watt.
The Browns made the list, but were far from being the favorites.
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) February 13, 2021
Odds to land Watt
The Browns showed up with +1400 odds to sign the star defensive end.
That put them near the bottom of the list that is topped by the Pittsburgh Steelers with +150 odds.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers were next at +400.
The Steelers being atop this list says a lot considering the team will have to make significant cuts just to be under the salary cap in 2021.
But the fact the other two Watt brothers are currently in Pittsburgh makes the link an obvious one.
The only thing stopping that reunion is if the team just can’t get enough money cleared by the time Watt wants to sign.
Watt coming to Cleveland seems to be a polarizing topic among fans on Browns Twitter.
If he did come it would be on a short-term deal and seems like a low-risk, high-reward move given the team’s finances.
Competition for Browns
Pittsburgh stands out as the favorite because of the other two Watts in town.
One thing the Browns have in their favor is a stacked team that nearly took down the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs.
Watt was released so he could join a contender and compete for a Super Bowl.
For the first time in decades, the Browns appear to be a much better contender than the Steelers.
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) February 12, 2021
Watt could be paired up with Myles Garret and the two could dominate opposing offensive lines.
The same is also true for Watt and his brother T.J. in Pittsburgh.
Green Bay also holds an advantage because Watt is a Wisconsin native and played his college ball with the Badgers.
The Buccaneers showing up with identical odds also makes sense because the team just won the Super Bowl.
Watt is going to have his options when making his decision.
If money is the top priority, the Browns are a favorite.
If he wants to play with family or be close to home, the Steelers and Packers take over in the conversation.
The Browns even being listed in the odds is a major accomplishment and shows the team is a real contender after so many years of awful football.
Maybe Watt coming to town could prove to be the missing link the Browns needed all along.