J.J. Watt: Texans and I have mutually agreed to part ways

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J.J. Watt has been one of the faces of the Texans since he was drafted in 2011.

He’ll be playing for a different team in 2021.

Watt asked for and was granted his release from the franchise, the three-time defensive player of the year said in a video posted to social media on Friday morning.

“I have sat down with the McNair family and I have asked for my release, and we have mutually agreed to part ways at this time,” Watt said in the video. “I came here 10 years ago as a kid from Wisconsin who had 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 family. Since that day, I have tried to do everything in my power to work and earn your respect, and try and make you proud on and off the field. You guys have given me everything and more, and I can only hope that you feel like I’ve given you everything I have.”

Watt noted he met his wife in Houston and made lifelong friends with teammates. He also credited those behind the scenes in the organization and the fans in public for their support.

“The connection is special,” Watt said. “And I will never, ever take that for granted because I know how rare that is.”

Watt got through the full 2020 season healthy, recording 5.0 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, 17 quarterback hits, seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and an interception. Watt hasn’t reached double-digit sacks since 2018, when he recorded 16.0. But he can still be effective and should have a solid market for his services in 2021. He’ll turn 32 on March 22.

“I’m excited and looking forward to a new opportunity. And I’ve been working extremely hard,” Watt said. “But at the same time, it is always tough to move on.”

Watt leaves the Texans after 128 starts, 101.0 sacks, 172 tackles for loss, 282 quarterback hits, 25 forced fumbles, 16 fumble recoveries and a pair of pick sixes.

136 responses to “J.J. Watt: Texans and I have mutually agreed to part ways

  1. Bengals fan here really hoping he doesn’t take a discount to go play with his brother on the Steelers. Head home to Wisconsin.

  2. Oh great, another guy that will want to come play for the Bucs. Tampa Bay just needs to resign their current cast of studs.

  3. Come to Cleveland, JJ! I wanted the browns to draft you in 2011, and Ohio is kind of like Wisconsin, except we traded our cow paddies for corn rows.

    We also have a great quarterback who wants to take his team to the superbowl.

  4. J.J. Watt is one of the classiest and best players in the NFL. Period. Full Stop. The fact that the Texans are the most dysfunctional team in professional sports no doubt prompted Watt to throw in the towel and move on.

    I’d love to see him with my 49ers, but it might be best if he joined his brother in Pittsburgh and make a serious run at that championship ring.

  5. Not surprising he’s leaving that train wreck. The Bills need help on their pass rush, he would be a great fit there, but he’ll probably end up in TB with TB.

  6. I feel like he will be a Patriot next season. What a great player for the Texans and always seemed like a first class guy as well. I wish him the best.

  7. Big name, definitely on the downward slope of his career. Has had a lot of major injuries the last few years, will be interesting to see what his market is.

  8. I can see the new Watt family commercial- the fan that correctly predicts which team will acquire overrated JJ Watt will win a free Subway foot long.

  9. Either Tampa or Green Bay.Im leaning on Tampa warmer weather better for his Body.That artic weather in Green Bay can’t be Good for him with all the injuries he has had throughout the years.

  10. It would be cool to see him playing with his brothers in Pittsburgh. I’d understand if he went to Green Bay, too.

    After Watson leaves, I might change my user name. I can’t believe what is happening in Houston right now.

  11. Wow. Simms said it best on one of the shows in the last day or two. Watt is Captain America and for him to be upset with the organization and make that known is just another sure sign Houston has taken the torch from Washington and become the new most dysfunctional team in football.

  12. Used to be every free agent was going to the Patriots for chance at a Super Bowl. Now it’s head to Tampa for the opportunity at a Super Bowl. What a difference a year makes.

  13. I’d love to have him in Tampa but it makes no sense. We need to re-up Suh, Shaq Barrett, and Lavonte David before even thinking about another 3-4 DE. He makes way more sense in Green Bay or Pittsburgh.

  14. He may have been a good player, but he’s only played 24 of 48 games the last three years; 0,8,16. He only had 5 sacks this year. He’s 32. It would be a heck of a risk to pay this guy a bunch of money and be confident he’d actually earn it.

  15. per lance zierlein

    JJ Watt was going to be a cap cut or traded. We’ve known that in Houston for a long time. He doesn’t have value relative to his salary cap slot any longer. This is in no way comparable with an elite QB just entering his prime.

  16. I’m guessing Green Bay or Pittsburgh would be the leaders in the clubhouse. Of course, then the Packers might have to spend money on a veteran… 🙂

  17. I would be stunned if he didn’t go to the Steelers to be with his brothers or to his beloved Packers as he is from Wisconsin, went to college there and grew up idolizing Reggie White. He still goes back there to workout in the offseason. He has talked about it being a dream to run out of the tunnel as a Packer.

  18. 3-2-1 Colbert on the line I’m sure . Betting money he ends up with a cap friendly deal playing with his bothers .

  19. Watt makes sense to cut because of cap and age, but I am sure he wanted to remain in Houston prior to the JE show. Easterby was the guy pushing to get rid of Hopkins. He was promoted after Gaine got the boot. BOB and he not being normal FO guys did not even plan for anything and made reaction deals for Cooks, Johnson, Tunsil. Those deals crushed cap and capital. He was the one who overruled their team President with Korn Ferry, and McNair listened to him and ignored Watson. This guy is destroying the Texans. McNair is the biggest idiot, however, because he allowed a character coach to be EVP and then gave he and BOB the authority to do stupid things. When things went bad, Easterby said BOB is the one that has to leave. He was out. McNair then continued to be head idiot by asking someone even less qualified (a player) for their input on GM AND HC and then ignored them while they were more important to the franchise than anyone else he had asked. This is going to be such a mess. Sorry fans of Houston. Had they never fired Gaine, it’s possible that Watt, Watson, Hopkins are a Texans forever. Although it may have came with Clowney because apparently the main disagreement between BOB and Gaine was Clowney. Still I am a sure they would take Clowney with their 2019 squad than whatever 2021 is!!

  20. Disappears in big games. Cant stay healthy. Big price tag. Meh. Rather have a younger fella that can do the same for way cheaper. First ballot? Nah.

  21. The NFL is quickly becoming the NBA. Along those lines, and I am not comparing Watt to LeBron, I see more and more players, given the choic, moving to teams that they feel will give them the best chance for a SB ring. I do believe he will sign with Tampa

  22. He’d be an instant fan favorite and a good fit in Green Bay, but for some reason the Packers never embrace local talent.

  23. I believe the new trend is players who are getting “long in the tooth” have all the money they will ever need but feel their careers are incomplete without a Super Bowl ring. These players want to go play for teams that at least give them a shot and we all have to admit the Texans have really no chance.

  24. Similiar to Ware in Dallas, not a surprising request. That being said, was Watt a FA? They could have got a 3rd or 4th for him, like Dallas could have got for Ware. Is he worth that amount, don’t know, but more than one team will pursue him.

  25. Even with his availability issues due to injuries, showing up on the field for just one game for our Vikings would be a massive upgrade to that sad defense.

  26. At the right price it would be nice if he came back home where he grew up and played his college ball. If not, good luck from your friends in Wisconsin.

  27. Maybe Houston will now feel justified in moving Deshaun for future picks and dumping their veteran contracts? Burn it all down and rebuild?

  28. When I think of all the talent that has passed through the Texans organization the past decade, I just shake my head. It began when Kubiak said “we don’t need Peyton Manning” and has digressed every year since. The irony is Kubiak went on to coach a super bowl champion – WITH PEYTON MANNING!

    Sad situation is South Texas!

  29. This could be the piece that puts the Vikings in the Super Bowl….hahahahahahah

    Welcome to anywhere east of the Mississippi River.

  30. A HOF player who has done good things off the field as well. What’s happening in Houston is unfortunate ( putting it mildly ), I understand his reasoning, and would love to see him get a ring. Godspeed!

  31. was gonna ask the hacks out there to not say “houston we have a problem” as its oh so played out but i see a real original funny persons already done it. good luck jj and we will miss u here in htown. hope u go get that ring.

  32. He had a GREAT career but here lately he gets hurt to much and it is starting to look like father time is catching up. J.J. probably wanted more than they was willing to pay with the new cap.

  33. Take all the players that have walked the last few years, add the ones leaving this year, you’ve got a playoff team.
    The Houston Exes.

  34. It’s sad how people pile on a player when he gets older. Thanks for the great memories. In your prime you were a game changer. I would love to see you come to the Vikings but we don’t really have the money and can’t risk what we have on an older player who has a greater chance of injury. Wish it could have worked out, better yet, wish it could have worked out about 3 years ago.

  35. An entire city weeps. Another casualty of poor management past and present. Good luck JJ, Houston lost a favorite son.

  36. Tha Nino Man says:
    February 12, 2021 at 10:07 am
    Von Miller is next.
    ————-

    Von Miller and JJ Watt can play together in denver, it’s just a matter of fixing their contracts and voila. two future HOF together causing destruction!

    twins of destruction!

    only two active players with more than 100 sacks!!!

  37. steeelfann0155 says:
    February 12, 2021 at 10:45 am
    Imagine TJ Watt, JJ Watt, Tuitt, Cam Heward coming after Mayfield? That’d be rich.
    ============================
    This made me tear up a little.

  38. D. Watson should take a note on how to do this the right way.

    JJ… Miami is warm and playoff bound

  39. Jesus, JJ. You are escaping from a HOF Dumpster Fire. You don’t have to turn it into a good bye love story. Manup! The Texans wasted much of your career. Get out of there!

  40. So does this mean the Texans know they are not going to be able to keep Watson & are fixing to tank next year so they can draft a star QB the following year. Like the Colts did to draft Andrew Luck

  41. This is a rare case of a ‘mutual parting’ being truly mutually beneficial. Texans don’t need his salary on the books, and JJ Watt doesn’t need to stick around to see what charred remains the Texans become.

    At this point, as a previous commenter said, the Texans need to move Deshaun Watson and burn it all to the ground. Houston is a wonderful city, no state income tax, good outdoors and fishing, great nightlife, etc. It should be a premier destination for free agents, but the front office has discouraged that.

    If the Texans can set themselves up for the 2023 draft with loads of cap space and multiple picks in the first 3 rounds, they can contend in 2024. I say the 2023 draft because by then hopefully there will be college tape to watch, a Combine to study, etc. The 2022 draft is entirely too volatile of a market for my liking.

  42. hopefully Deshaun is next. Houston’s front office is a clown show. Feel bad for the head coach though. All the blame will be put on him

  43. In his Twitter goodbye , he is wearing a Wisconsin Badger hoodie , he is waiting on a phone call from Green Bay

  44. J.J. Watt may leave Texas, but parts of him will never leave. Like his torn pectoral muscle, knees, leg, finger, back disc, abdominal muscle, and elbow.

  45. Good for JJ. Congrats to him. He gets what he wanted. Please sign with an NFC team.

  46. He doesn’t git the Green Bay defensive system. He would fit with the Vikes, but come on, he’s going to jump to an immediate contender with a 4-3 system.

  47. buyer beware at his age…he actually played all 16 last year and based on history he’s due for an injury…that said I wonder if he chases the minimum and goes for a ring in tampa or does belichek start to deploy the hoards of cash he has for his rebuild ( and no i’m not saying BB is gonna break the bank for him I just meant will he kick the tire on another older vet)

  48. NE was 7-9, and could have been 12-4 or better if a few things went the right way. Defense is pretty decent, RBs are good, so is the Oline. Need a QB, and maybe a receiver or two and are back on top. JJ Watt might want to think about that. Worked out for John Simon, Chris Long, Jabaal Sheard

  49. I get amused when an employer and the guy departing say it was by “mutual agreement.” Why is it that whenever I’ve left a job by “mutual agreement” the HR lady is also waiting in the conference room with my personnel file and she’s not smiling?

  50. He doesn’t git the Green Bay defensive system.
    =====

    He’s played in the 3-4 defense his entire career.

  51. Green Bay would make sense. I’d say Pittsburgh, but there isn’t really a need there for him, although being with his brothers would be unique.

  52. We also have a great quarterback who wants to take his team to the superbowl.

    Oh thank god. As opposed to 31 other quarterbacks who don’t want to win the super bowl?

  53. Come to Minnesota, JJ! Come get that ring you’ve been searching for!! Come play for one of the most iconic, historic teams in all of sports!!! This team is STACKED on both sides of the ball!! And there will be no pressure on you to be “the man” because there are already so many great players!! Add to that, the best coaching staff, the best ownership, and the greatest fans in the league!! All of that, and a world-class stadium!!! Do it, JJ, it’s a no-brainer!!! We’ll be seeing you in the purple and gold soon!

  54. J.J. is a Badger — had a great college career in Madison. Green Bay is just 2-1/2 hours up the road.

    Welcome home.

  55. Mr. Watt,
    Your honor and integrity is the bellwether example for sports.
    Please give Mr. Wilson a call. He could use some public relations advice.
    At this point in your career, you may want to look at the statistics and sign with one of the most healthy teams in the league, that has a top tier strength & conditioning staff. ps. The Seahawks are not one of them.

  56. rekroot says:
    February 12, 2021 at 11:15 am
    Colts sign him and bring back Luck.

    Do the colts still hold rights on Luck in case he decided to come back?

  57. I hope he goes to Green Bay.

    Scratch Pittsburgh off the list — they’re 30M over the cap and aren’t signing anybody in free agency. All the Watt brothers on the same team would be a great story, but it’s not going to happen, unfortunately.

  58. for all the fans saying come to my team – you guys realize that you’re not getting the NFL DPOY JJ Watt, but the guy who’s played exactly half of the games he’s been eligible to play in the last 3 years (24 of 48), had a total of 5 sacks last year playing all 16 games, and would cost ~$17-18m per year?

    he was a good player but is also completely shut out of games by good game plans (see BB and what the Pats did to him in playoff games)

    buyer beware and this guy go hand in hand.

  59. echansen50 says:
    February 12, 2021 at 10:38 am

    Similiar to Ware in Dallas, not a surprising request. That being said, was Watt a FA? They could have got a 3rd or 4th for him, like Dallas could have got for Ware. Is he worth that amount, don’t know, but more than one team will pursue him.

    ————————————————————————-

    Watt was due $17.5 million in 2021. No one was going to pay him that, much less give up a pick to get him.

  60. Has to be Steelers or Packers, right? Obvious connections and both teams could really use what he would bring (if healthy).

    Plus this might free up Green Bay to choose another QB in the first round…

  61. Do the colts still hold rights on Luck in case he decided to come back?
    =====

    Yes.

    But they also have to reinstate his contract. If it doesn’t fit under their cap, they’d have to move him, or others.

  62. The Texans Circus keeps going strong. The entire state should write a petition to the NFL asking for a name change…

  63. Terrible Analogies says:
    February 12, 2021 at 11:53 am
    I hope he goes to Green Bay.

    Scratch Pittsburgh off the list — they’re 30M over the cap and aren’t signing anybody in free agency. All the Watt brothers on the same team would be a great story, but it’s not going to happen, unfortunately.
    ====================================================
    GB is 30 some million over the cap as well…..

  64. Smart enough to get off the sinking ship. Green Bay makes sense if they dump Preston Smith. But Green Bay already has substantial cap issues to deal with.

  65. for all the fans saying come to my team – you guys realize that you’re not getting the NFL DPOY JJ Watt, but the guy who’s played exactly half of the games he’s been eligible to play in the last 3 years (24 of 48), had a total of 5 sacks last year playing all 16 games, and would cost ~$17-18m per year?
    =====

    17 or 18?… I think the number will be half that. For the reasons you just stated.

    IF he comes home to Green Bay, I’ll buy his jersey and love every minute of it. Worked out pretty well with Julius Peppers a few years back. But he was healthy, it has to be said.

    I don’t expect Watt would be a true impact player at this point. I think he’d be a plus-level role player though, if used appropriately.

  66. If he doesn’t accept a veteran minimum deal, he’ll be robbing which ever team that ends up signing him. Most general managers at this point should be well aware of this fact.

  67. Pittsburgh or Tampa. Mark it. No way for him to be in another AFC team which he potentially has to play against his little brother to get to super bowl. See Petyon’s case with Eli. That leaves NFC contenders, Bucs, Packers and 49ers. Easy choice given no state income tax vs highest in CA, warm weather vs frozen tundra. Plus playing with Brady vs Rogers or Jimmy G.

  68. You have to assume he will be looking to play for a team with a title shot, or a slim chance that he wants to play with his brother.

  69. Whoever signs him better limit his snap count.

    With Watt’s injury history, he’s a situational player at best……

  70. I would expect him to go to a contender. Buffalo or Green Bay, but old Bellechick loves proven vets on D at a good price. Depends on the $$ he will demand

  71. cafetero1075 says:
    February 12, 2021 at 12:51 pm
    Coudln’t get a 3rd for him? He has some value.
    —————————————————————————————————-
    A 3rd? Watt has missed as many games as he has played in over the last 5 years. He was also set to make $17.5 million. Tell me who was going to trade a 3rd and pay him that.

  72. mikethevike11 says:
    February 12, 2021 at 10:23 am
    Wow. Simms said it best on one of the shows in the last day or two. Watt is Captain America and for him to be upset with the organization and make that known is just another sure sign Houston has taken the torch from Washington and become the new most dysfunctional team in football.

    ——————————————–

    “Hold my beer” – Dan Snyder

  73. Just as a goof, the Texans should contact his agent, and say “ we see jj hit the waiver wire, is he interested n the Texans?

  74. Tony Kornheiser suggested a Dak Prescott for DeShaun Watson swap. But why would Dak want to go to Houston? Why would anyone want to go to Houston? The Texans are going to be the old Mets-like joke of the NFL.

  75. 5 sacks. Due $17.5 mil? He “quit” before he was fired. No doubt Houston was about to cut him.

  76. I want to see the venn diagram of people who attack watson for wanting out of Texas (yOu SIgNeD a ConTraCt) who are also being supportive of Watt asking out of his contract.

  77. If hes released then sure, but trading him.. who would take on that contract in a cap depleted year for a guy that’s not always on the field.

  78. He’s like Gronk only on the defensive side of the ball. So yeah, he will probably wind up in Tampa.

  79. Pull a Reggie White and go to Green Bay and finish your career with a championship under the belt.

  80. I am just here to see if JJ Watt gets ripped for not just “shutting up” and “honor” his contract the way his teammate was last week.

    I bet he won’t. And you all know why . . . .

  81. Overrated? Seriously – do some of you even watch football?

    Watt was incredible in his prime, and he’s sacrificed his body for the game (as so many others have, as well) and it’s caught up to him. But, if a team can sign him for a reasonable contract and keep his snap count relatively low, he could be a fantastic role player.

    He’s still got some football in him, just not as an every-down player.

  82. Wisconsin77 says:
    Pull a Reggie White and go to Green Bay and finish your career with a championship under the belt.

    ———–

    Except Reggie finished up in Carolina in 2000. While Green Bay makes plenty of sense for Watt, for some of the same reasons I think Chicago will be in play for signing him. Soldier Field and Lambeau are almost exactly 2 hours each way from his Waukesha hometown. His wife plays in Chicago. Plenty of marketing in Chicago.

    So, instead of Reggie to Green Bay, it may be more comparable to Julius Peppers to Chicago.

  83. No defensive player is worth more than 10 mil per year in the salary cap era. The just completed Super Bowl showcased just how much a QB game the NFL is these days. One team had it and the other team did not.

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