Texans agree to release DE J.J. Watt
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[February 13, 2021]
The Houston Texans are parting
with All-Pro defensive end J.J. after he asked for his release.
The team announced the decision on Friday after Watt posted a video
on social media.
"I have sat down with the McNair family and I have asked them for my
release and we have mutually agreed to part ways at this time," Watt
said. "I came here 10 years ago as a kid from Wisconsin who'd never
really been to Texas before. And now I can't imagine my life without
Texas in it. The way that you guys have treated me, besides draft
night. I mean, you guys booed me on draft night. But every day after
that, you treated me like family. And I truly feel like you're my
."..I'm excited and looking forward to a new opportunity, and I've
been working extremely hard. But at the same time, it is always
tough to move on. And I just want you guys to know that I love you.
I appreciate you. I appreciate the McNair family for drafting me and
giving me my first opportunity in the NFL."
He can sign as a free agent with another team when the new league
season begins next month.
Watt will leave a legacy in Houston. In 10 seasons with the
franchise, he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year three
times, was a first-team All Pro five times and won the Walter Payton
Man of the Year award in 2017 after raising more than $37 million
for victims of Hurricane Harvey.
He is the team's all-time leader in sacks with 101, tackles for loss
(172), quarterback hits (282) and forced fumbles (25). He has 531
career tackles, 61 passes defensed and 16 fumble recoveries since
the Texans made him the No. 11 overall selection in the 2011 NFL
[to top of second column]
Houston Texans defensive
end J.J. Watt (99) and outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59)
react after a play during the fourth quarter against the
Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy
Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
"Change is never easy, especially when it involves the ones you
love. J.J.'s impact on not only our organization, but the entire
Houston community, is unlike any player in our franchise's history,"
Texans CEO Cal McNair said in a team-released statement. "I told J.J.
earlier this week that we will forever consider him a Texan."
Watt played in 128 games with the Texans, despite losing chunks of
three seasons to injuries. He played in just three games in 2016,
five in 2017 and eight in 2019.
While Watt, who turns 32 next month, has been synonymous with
Houston, the departure from the franchise was expected. He said in
November he didn't want to be part of a rebuilding effort, and the
Texans face numerous questions leading into the 2021 season.
Among those questions is the future of franchise quarterback Deshaun
Watson, who has asked to be traded.
Watt was entering the final year of a six-year, $100 million
contract extension he signed in 2014 and was due to earn $17.5
--Field Level Media
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