J.J. Watt unlikely to ease off after getting paid

| 3 years ago

J.J. Watt unlikely to ease off after getting paid

PFF-headlinesYou often see players take a step back in performance after they secure a big pay day. It’s understandable when money is such a driving force behind everything. Guys are putting their bodies on the line to earn the big contract and once the signing bonus is in the bank, they can ease off until it becomes necessary to give 100% again.

That hasn’t exactly happened to J.J. Watt, who signed a $100m contract shortly before the season began and is now the league’s highest paid defender. Watt ended the first game he has played owning that title having earned a +6.9 grade overall, thanks to a pretty monstrous day rushing the passer.

He notched a sack, four knockdowns, three additional hurries and batted a pass down. As if that wasn’t enough he even blocked an extra point.

While it isn’t the best game he has ever put up – in fact it doesn’t even crack the Page of Fame for 3-4 defensive ends which may as well be renamed the J.J. Watt appreciation page – it would put him on pace for a season grade of +110, which would rank as the best season he has put together to date if he was able to do it for sixteen games.

If you take a look at his game by game grades from 2013 and then compare it to his opening day performance it looks as if we can expect business as usual for the NFL’s richest defender.


| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN and NBCSports.

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