Packers missed golden opportunity to sign All-Pro pass rusher

J.J. Watt says it would have been "awesome" to join Packers in 2021.
NFL Combine
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The year is 2021. The Green Bay Packers have a championship roster that has just fallen a game short of the Super Bowl.

The time to win with Aaron Rodgers is now.

Three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and seven-time All-Pro pass rusher J.J. Watt is available. A chance to bring Watt home to Wisconsin makes all the sense in the world.

He gets a chance to return home and join a contender. The Packers upgrade their pass rush, pairing Watt with Rashan Gary, Za'Darius Smith, and Preston Smith.

Unfortunately, it never happened and Watt spent the final two seasons of his career with the Arizona Cardinals. Watt said playing for the Packers would've been "awesome," but the opportunity was never there for him.

Packers missed golden opportunity to sign J.J. Watt at end of Aaron Rodgers era

Watt was a guest on the Dan Patrick Show this week, and he was asked about how close he was to signing with the Packers in 2021.

"It's a story for another day. It would have been awesome," Watt told Patrick. "I have to get more information about it before I really talk about it more, but it would have been cool."

It sounds like Watt was interested, and he hinted that the decision wasn't his.

"It wasn't really an option. That's all I'll say."

Watt could still play. He made 12.5 sacks and 25 quarterback hits last season before retiring. He would have bolstered the Packers' pass rush, giving them one of the best rotations in the league.

Would it have made the difference between winning a Super Bowl and falling short? Maybe not, but Watt certainly would have upgraded the defense. For a team that was aiming to win it all with Aaron Rodgers, it's surprising the Packers didn't bring Watt home.

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