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The Houston Texans are releasing JJ Watt, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The Texans selected Watt with the No. 11 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and found their franchise defensive end. Most observers believed the Texans would trade the 31-year-old member of the 100 Sacks Club, but that has changed, according to NFL insiders.
JJ Watt posted a video Friday morning saying that he asked the McNair family to release him. The sides “mutually” agree to part ways, according to Watt.
“I came here 10 years ago as a kid from Wisconsin who had never really been to Texas before. Now I can’t imagine my life without Texas in it.”
Watt thanked the fans for their huge support — except on draft night when they booed the pick.
“The connection is special,” Watt said of the people he’s met and the way he’s been treated in Houston.
Departures from Houston since Jack Easterby was hired in April 2019:
– GM Brian Gaine
– WR DeAndre Hopkins
– HC Bill O’Brien
– Head of PR Amy Palcic
– President Jamey Rootes
– Team captain JJ Watt
Each move deserves individual evaluation… but just look at those job titles.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) February 12, 2021
“I will never ever take that for granted because I know how rare it is.”
“I’m excited and looking forward to a new opportunity. It is always tough to move on.”
Watt’s career in Houston ends with 101 sacks, 128 games played, 531 tackles and two interceptions that were both returned for touchdowns. The 80-yard interception for a touchdown came against the Bills in 2014, and Watt had a 19-yard interception against Matthew Stafford on Thanksgiving Day 2020.
He has also been named NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times.
Watt will also be remembered for raising $41.6 million in Hurricane Harvey relief funds for the people of Houston who suffered greatly after the storm destroyed much of the city.
Houston, I wanted you to hear this directly from me… pic.twitter.com/YqT3P6Lb6l
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 12, 2021