Texans, star DE J.J. Watt agree to part ways
Star defensive end J.J. Watt will play for a team not named the Houston Texans next season. In a video statement on Friday, the Texans’ all-time leader in sacks (101.0) told his Twitter followers that he sat down with the team-owning McNair family, where both parties agreed to a mutual split.
Watt, a three-time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award winner (2012, 2014-15), was selected by Houston with the 11th pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Watt has amassed four First-Team All-Pro selections (2012, 2014-15, 2018), and is one of only three players to be named defensive player of the year three times. With the Texans, Watt finished a 3-5 record in the postseason and never advanced past the Divisional Round.
Off the field, Watt has impressed with his efforts towards raising money for disaster relief in 2017 in the wake of the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Watt’s contributions on that front helped him earn the 2017 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. Initially, Watt proposed a goal of raising $200,000 to which he would match the first $100,000. However, Watt’s actions turned into more than $37 million of aid within the first 19 days, which eventually grew to more than $41 million. The whole time, Watt ensured the money was going to the right places while also working to find organizations who were willing and able to assist financially.
“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,” said Texans Chair and CEO Cal McNair. “I told J.J. earlier this week that we will forever consider him a Texan. We take solace in knowing that this is not a goodbye but a ‘see you soon.’ For now, we will build upon the foundation that J.J. created here and forge ahead with our unwavering mission to bring a championship to our city, create memorable experiences for our fans and do great things for Houston.”
Both of Watt’s younger brothers, linebacker T.J. Watt and fullback Derek Watt play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. For more sports coverage, click here.