J.J. Watt isn’t the answer to the Atlanta Falcons pass rush woes


J.J. Watt is not the answer to the Atlanta Falcons pass-rushing woes.

The Atlanta Falcons are in dire need of an elite pass rusher, so when news broke Friday morning that the Houston Texans had cut J.J. Watt, freeing him of his contract per his request, this meant that the Atlanta Falcons should be among the interested parties looking to sign him, right?

If you answered yes, I can see where you are coming from. He is a great talent and among the league’s best. However, a guy like Watt who has trouble staying healthy is not the answer.

With all due respect to the future NFL Hall of Famer, he is not the man to fix this defenses’ pass-rushing issues. Watt has been one of the most dominant defensive ends in the NFL since he debuted in 2011, quickly accumulating a whopping 74.5 sacks through his first five seasons.

While he had a very strong start to his career, the same can’t be said for the last five seasons.

Watt didn’t miss a single game through the first half of his career, playing all 80 possible regular-season games.

Since the 2016 season, he has only played in 48 out of a possible 80 regular-season games. This is very concerning for a team who signed an injury-prone running back in Todd Gurley last spring, a signing that did not pan out – though he did play in 16 games during the Texans 2020 season.

The last thing anyone wants is for an injury-prone defensive end on one side, and an overrated and overpaid “pass rusher” on the other end in Dante Fowler Jr.

The Atlanta Falcons need to fix the pass-rushing problems through the draft.

There are potential great pass rushers scattered throughout the draft this year. This is where the team needs to look, not in free agency.

Aside from the injury concerns, there’s also the fact that the Atlanta Falcons may not have the cap space to sign him unless they somehow managed to get him for cheap. Let’s be real though, this is J.J. Watt we are talking about, he is not going to go to a team for cheap, and he almost certainly will want to play for a contender.

Let’s face it, there is no telling how the 2021 season will playout for the Atlanta Falcons, which would be a big concern for a guy who is more than likely wanting to go to a contender.

Watt has produced at a high level when healthy, but that’s a big concern.

Nobody knows if he will be able to play a full season or not. Recent history shows this concern is extremely valid, and this is why building through the NFL Draft, not Watt, will help fix the defensive line and the lack of a pass rush.

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