The Way I See It
In this The Way I See It, J.J. Watt rides off into the sunset, nobody is riding with Russell Wilson, and more.
J.J., Watt A Career!
J.J. Watt used his Twitter account yesterday to announce his retirement, effective at the end of the 2022 season.
In general, do newer fans truly appreciate the greatness of his career? From 2012-2025, Watt was the greatest defensive player in the NFL. Indeed, he may have been the best player in the NFL. Watt is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014, 2015), tied for most with Lawrence Taylor and Aaron Donald. Watt has 111.5 career sacks (149 regular season games) and is the only player with 20+ sacks in more than one season (since sacks became an official stat).
However, Watt was more than a pass rusher, as he was equally adept at playing the run as he was terrorizing opposing quarterbacks. As if he wasn’t enough of a headache for opponents, in 2014, the Texans used him as a TE in goal line situations. Consequently, he scored three TDs on three targets that season.
Is J.J. Watt considered clutch? Notably, in nine career playoff games, he’s recorded 31 total tackles, six sacks, ten tackles for loss, six passes defended, and a Pick-Six. Indeed clutch!
If there is one negative to his career, it’s that his body gave out in 2016. Since the beginning of that season, Watt has missed nearly 40% of his teams’ games.
The Way I See It: more than a great player
Watt is also a genuinely nice human, always active in local charities and always making time for fans. His efforts on behalf of Houstonians in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey led to his receiving the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2017.
J.J. Watt announced his retirement yesterday, but that wasn’t all he announced. He also announced that he’s going to be in Canton in 2028. In other words, Watt will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Good old Saint Nick reveals some of the names on his famous “naughty and nice” Christmas list!
Russell Wilson arrived in Denver this past off-season via a trade. After 10 very productive years in Seattle, he wore out his welcome with head coach Pete Carroll and was shipped off to Colorado. To clarify, it’s not like the Seahawks were desperate to get rid of Wilson. They waited until the right sucker came along (the Broncos) and extracted two first-rounders, two second-rounders and a fifth-rounder for Wilson. Also– they acquired QB Drew Lock, DL Shelby Harris, and TE Noah Fant. To be clear: they essentially raped the Broncos.
However, that wasn’t the end of it! In order to get Wilson to agree to the trade, the Broncos gave the diminutive QB a five year extension for $245 million ($165 million guaranteed). Added to the two years left on his original Seahawks contract, Wilson and the Broncos essentially agreed to a seven-year relationship. Let’s ride!, as Wilson exclaimed heading into Denver. Finally, the quarterback savior that would propel the Broncos to the Super Bowl!
Fast forward to today, and the Broncos are 4-11. Wilson is going through the worst year of his career. In fact, it’s been so bad that it got HC Nathaniel Hackett fired. Perhaps even more alarmingly, Wilson seems to have no friends on the Broncos. Even former Seattle teammates have chimed in to throw shade towards Wilson, particularly Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch.
What to do?
Of course, the fact that Wilson would attend post-game pressers and still utter his dopey “Let’s Ride!” catchphrase made matters even worse. One of the funniest things I’ve seen in recent weeks was a picture my friend Judo Larry M sent me:
The caption for this photo? “What happened to ‘Let’s Ride’, m*therf*cker?” Still makes me laugh every time I see it. Melvin Gordon confirmed what all of us assumed about Wilson: he’s not very likeable. As one of my old high school teammates once said about a common acquaintance, “that guy just has that dick look.”
The Broncos are over a barrel. They can’t get rid of Wilson until 2026 or so, and no team would be stupid enough to trade for him with that ridiculous contract. The only option is to find a new coach to build the team around Wilson. Also, a coach that can get Wilson back to being the QB we all saw in Seattle.
Hopefully, with the contracts of Wilson and Deshaun Watson as examples, teams will refrain from giving players (especially QBs) this kind of guaranteed money.
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