Houston Texans and J.J. Watt Decide to Part Ways

The Houston Texans have agreed to release their star defensive end J.J. Watt per his request.

In a video posted to his Twitter, Watt says that he sat down with the McNair family to discuss his release.

The Texans will be saving $17.5 million, which was not guaranteed, for the upcoming season and Watt will be immediately eligible to join a new team once the release is official.

Both Watt and Houston have been moving in opposite directions for a while now. Towards the end of 2020, Watt stated that he is only interested in playing for a championship caliber team.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that I don’t have 10 years left in this league. I personally believe that I do have a few more great ones left in me… I’m not looking to rebuild, I’m looking to go after a championship and that’s what I want to do,” Watt said during a postgame conference. He went on to say that making the playoffs isn’t enough for him and the work he puts in should be towards winning a Super Bowl.

The Texans have since spoke out regarding the departure of their three-time Defensive Player of the Year, stating that this isn’t a goodbye but a “so long for now.”

“We evaluated our options and we’re confident this was the right one for J.J. and the Texans… We started talking about this right after the season and we wanted to make sure we did right by him. This is not a goodbye, it’s so long for now.”

Texans CEO Cal McNair via Ian Rapoport

It is questionable why Houston decided to release Watt rather than entertain trade options from other teams. Although his departure clears big cap space, there is now a big player gap to fill.

During his tenure in Houston, Watt has put together an unforgettable career including:

  • Five-time First-Team All-Pro
  • Five-Time Pro Bowl
  • Two-time NFL Sacks Leader
  • 101 Career Sacks (franchise record)
  • 172 tackles for loss (franchise record)
  • 25 forced fumbles (franchise record)

Photo: (Eric Christian Smith/ AP Photo)

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