J.J. Watt will be the 49ers' newest rival, as he announced on social media Monday morning that he will be joining the Arizona Cardinals after being released by the Houston Texans following the 2020 season.
As the NFC West adds another All-Pro talent, NFL Twitter expressed its surprise after reporters earlier in the day falsely indicated Watt was interested in three other franchises.
Watt will be joining DeAndre Hopkins in Arizona, after the two spent seven seasons as teammates with the Texans. Houston traded Hopkins to the Cardinals in March 2020 for David Johnson and a pair of draft picks.
Watt won't be the only elite pass rusher in town, as two-time All-Pro Chandler Jones has been wreaking havoc on opposing offensive lines in the NFC West, including forcing an NFL-leading eight fumbles in his last full season in 2019. Jones was limited to five games by injury in 2020.
Deshaun Watson now has seen two of his greatest teammates depart in a year's time, and the quarterback reportedly is continuing his standoff with the Texans as he has demanded a trade.
The 49ers' offensive line now will have quite a challenge when these two teams cross paths in 2021.
The NFC West is shaping up to be the NFL's strongest division.