J.J. Watt has officially left the building. The greatest defensive player in Texans history announced that he and the Texans mutually agreed to part ways Friday morning.
Houston, I wanted you to hear this directly from me... pic.twitter.com/YqT3P6Lb6l— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 12, 2021
Watt was fixing to enter the final season of the six-year, $100 million contract he signed back in 2014 that went into effect in 2016 after his rookie deal expired. The Texans will save $17.5 million in cap room by releasing Watt, who will wear a different uniform next season for the first time in his NFL career.
After a disappointing 4-12 season where Watt was one of the few bright spots on a horrid defense, J.J. asking for a release is no surprise. At 32, Watt is looking to compete for that coveted Super Bowl ring he never truly came close to in Houston. Even though he didn’t bring the City of Houston a championship, Watt leaves Houston as arguably the most iconic athlete in Houston history.
It’s hard to believe on draft night almost ten years ago, Texans fans booed him as he walked to the podium when his name was called as the 11th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Since then, Watt’s 101 sacks rank second in the league behind only Von Miller. Watt became just the second player to ever win three Defensive Player of the Year awards (Aaron Donald became the third player to complete the feat last week).
As exceptional as he was on the field, he was just as impressive, if not more so, off the field. He did so much good for so many people in his ten years in Houston. He’s perhaps best known for starting and spearheading an effort that raised $37 million for Houstonians following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.
While Watt may not be playing in Houston or wearing a Texans jersey on Sundays anymore, he became part of the city. J.J. Watt will forever be Houston. We look forward to him entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame five years after he retires.