The 2021 season will mark the 11th with at least one Watt brother in the National Football League — though it’ll be a different look for the oldest brother, J.J., playing as a member of the Arizona Cardinals for the first time.
It could also be a historic season for little brother, t.j., who is reportedly about to receive a massive contract extension that will make him the highest-paid outside linebacker in league history.
Reading: Jj watts brothers play football
The Pewaukee triumvirate also includes Steelers fullback Derek in his second season as t.j.’s teammate
Standards from the old University of Wisconsin and Pewaukee High School continue to be among the biggest stars the NFL has to offer. here’s the latest on the brothers heading into the 2021 season.
- 1 jj watt is playing his first season with the arizona cardinals
- 2 t.j. watt is one of the best defensive players in the nfl and is on the cusp of a big deal with the pittsburgh steelers
- 3 steelers fullback derek watt has had a stellar career in the nfl
- 4 the green bay packers will see all the watt brothers in the 2021 season
jj watt is playing his first season with the arizona cardinals
Packers fans were eager to see if J.J. would come home following his departure from the Houston Texans, the franchise that drafted J.J. 11th overall in 2011 and with whom he became a three-time defensive player of the year.
j.j. he announced in February that he would not be returning to the franchise where he established himself as a future hall of famer. And while Packers fans were hopeful, financial logistics and other considerations made it highly unlikely that he would land with the Packers, though speculation ran rampant for more than two weeks before J.J. indicated that he would be heading to arizona.
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t.j. watt is one of the best defensive players in the nfl and is on the cusp of a big deal with the pittsburgh steelers
The Packers infamously passed on drafting the UW standout with the 29th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, instead trading that pick to the Browns and backing up to the 33rd pick, which became cornerback Kevin King.
more:kevin king happy to stay with packers after moving on from nfc title debacle
Meanwhile, Watt was drafted 30th overall by the Steelers. Not only that, but UW’s partner Ryan Ramczyk was selected by the Saints at No. 32. Ramczyk just became the highest-paid left tackle in the NFL when he signed a five-year, $96 million extension.
t.j. He has been a tour de force in his four years in the NFL, with three Pro Bowl selections and two first-team all-pro selections in the last two seasons. Recorded a league-best 15 sacks last year and 23 tackles for loss in 2020, putting him second behind Rams star Aaron Donald in league defensive player of the year voting . tj came in third place in that vote two years ago.
donald won the award for the third time, matching lawrence taylor and j.j. most in nfl history.
dk pittsburgh sports says the potential t.j.-steelers deal will top that of bears linebacker khalil mack, whose six-year, $141 million deal is currently the highest for outside linebackers.
t.j. He has been sitting out practices and games while details of the deal are worked out, though head coach Mike Tomlin was optimistic Watt would practice Wednesday. Historically, the Steelers don’t trade during the season and have indicated they want to close the deal before the first kickoff on Sept. 1. 12.
steelers fullback derek watt has had a stellar career in the nfl
And we can’t forget about Derek, who may get third billing but still has fashioned a strong NFL career, now entering its sixth season. He signed a three-year, $9.5 million deal to join the Steelers for the 2020 campaign, and he special-teams ace was limited to 12 games last year, the first time he missed any time in his NFL career.
he recorded just 52 offensive snaps and didn’t get a carry, but the Steelers are reportedly experimenting to see if his offensive role can be expanded this season.
On special teams, Derek tackled Broncos punter Sam Martin and forced a fumble out of the end zone for a safety last year. That play came a week before the Steelers faced the Texans at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, where T.J. and derek has bragging rights about j.j. with a 28-21 win.
The Steelers will not face the Cardinals this year.
the green bay packers will see all the watt brothers in the 2021 season
The baggers will get to see all of the Watt brothers up close this year. green bay welcomes the steelers to lambeau field on oct. 3, where an offensive line without David Bakhtiari will be tasked with keeping t.j. away from quarterback aaron rodgers. later that same month, the packers will travel to arizona on oct. 28.
the brothers still spend time in wisconsin in the off-season; in fact, j.j. he visited the fiserv forum during the eastern conference semifinals when the milwaukee bucks were en route to their first nba championship in 50 years.
jr radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or [email protected] follow him on twitter at @jrradcliffe.