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Former Steelers DL Armon Watts Reveals Why He Signed with Patriots

The Pittsburgh Steelers have lost defensive lineman Armon Watts to the New England Patriots, who will sign him.



Pittsburgh Steelers DL Armon Watts

Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Armon Watts is now with the New England Patriots, and that left the Steelers looking for a replacement. They found it, somewhat, in Dean Lowry. But why did they not sign Watts in the first place? Watts revealed why he left on Thursday.

“Pittsburgh showed some interest, but I feel like at the end of the day New England wanted me more. It’s a good organization,” Watts said.

Watts’ new deal will be worth up to $3 million, far exceeding what he made a year ago for Pittsburgh. Likely what Watts is referring to is price, and that Pittsburgh did not want to pay as much as New England.

As a base defensive lineman, Watts became the Steelers’ go-to pass rusher off the bench, while guys like Isaiah Loudermilk and Montravius Adams filtered in, helping in run defense.

Watts, a sixth-round pick out of Arkansas in 2019, spent the first three seasons of his career with the Minnesota Vikings. He would then head over to the Chicago Bears for the 2022 season. Watts was cut from the Vikings in August of 2022, but he was immediately scooped up by the Bears, where he started 12 games. In 2021, Watts posted a career-high five sacks. For his career, he has 125 tackles and 15 quarterback hits. He registered a career-high QB Hits in 2021.

His production with the Steelers mirrored the productivity from his best seasons, where he consistently played at a quality level off the bench. He was the team’s designated sub-package pass rusher depth, something they had lacked in previous years. But he only signed for a one-year deal, and the team will have to replenish much of their defensive line depth. That priority could have Watts, who gave them quality play. But without him, the team must find more depth to fill in there.

Adams is also a free agent. And behind the three starters, Loudermilk, DeMarvin Leal, and Breiden Fehoko are under contract. But the team seems likely to find someone to sign there to fill that void.