Could one of sports’ biggest power couples both play in Chicago?
Free agent J.J. Watt has any number of suitors this offseason, with the Chicago Bears squarely on that list. While every team will surely find some link to sell Watt on, the Bears have an easy one — Watt’s wife, Kealia Ohai Watt, plays for the NWSL Chicago Red Stars. Surely, playing in the same city as his immediate family would be a selling point. In fact, it’s the same pitch the Pittsburgh Steelers are making to Watt.
Ohai Watt’s social media activity suggests she might be trying to sway her husband in one direction.
Lou Malnati’s, one of the Chicago’s best deep dish pizza joints, offered to give Watt pizza for life if he signs with the Bears. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Sarah Spain pointed out how much easier it’ll be to support his wife during her games. Ohai Watt championed both of these causes.
Does J.J. Watt fit into the Bears’ plans?
The Bears aren’t really lacking in terms of pass rush. Look no further than the likes of Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn and Akiem Hicks, all three of whom have rather large cap hits. Speaking of the salary cap, the Bears don’t have a ton of money to play with, so they can’t offer Watt much of a financial incentive over other potential suitors.
There’s little doubt Watt would put up big numbers in Chicago. The defense is already nasty, and with a player of Watt’s caliber added to the pass rush and not facing double teams on a regular basis, he could be in the Pro Bowl discussion come season’s end assuming he can stay healthy.
In the end, it’s up to Watt. Several teams are hoping he takes a discount for family reasons. Can Kelai Watt convince her husband to stay in the Windy City?