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J.J. Watt is likely to sign with Browns

By Chuck Schilken
Los Angeles Times/TNS

J.J. Watt got his wish when he was released by the Houston Texans last week.

So now what? Clearly the three-time NFL defensive player of the year isn't ready to retire (although no doubt the Zac Brown Band would love to have him as a full-time member of its security staff).

Multitudes of fans are clamoring for Watt to sign with their beloved teams. The franchise most likely to pull that off is the Cleveland Browns, according to BetOnline, which has given the team 4-5 odds of landing the five-time Pro Bowler.

Cleveland.com reports that Watt is looking for a team that could compete for a Super Bowl and can pay him his market value. Fresh off their first postseason appearance since 2002 and first playoff victory since 1994, Baker Mayfield and company appear to meet the first requirement.

And unlike some of the teams directly below them on the list, the Browns should have the immediate salary cap space to sign Watt, who was due to make $17.5 million with Houston in 2021.

Some Browns fans consider it a done deal.

The Green Bay Packers have the next-best odds of signing Watt at 5-1. Aaron Rodgers and his teammates were one win removed from the Super Bowl this year, but the Packers likely would need to make roster moves to free the cap space for Watt.

Pittsburgh was once considered a likely destination for Watt, mainly because younger brothers T.J. and Derek play there.

But the Steelers have major cap issues already and don't have a real need at defensive end, so they have dropped to No. 3 on the list with 11-2 odds.

The Buffalo Bills are next at 7-1, and the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers follow with 15-2 odds. The Rams are around the middle of the pack at 16-1.

Watt tweeted about free agency Wednesday morning, but offered no clues about where he might end up.

"Free agency is wild," he wrote.

Watt