The Houston Texans launched the three-time defensive participant of the yr J.J. Watt on Friday after he requested to go away the workforce.
“I’ve sat down with the McNair household and I’ve requested them for my launch, and we’ve mutually agreed to half methods right now,” he said in a video posted to Twitter. “I’m excited and searching ahead to a brand new alternative.”
Watt will turn out to be a free agent, and even at 31 ought to nonetheless be in demand by groups looking for a move rusher.
After making the playoffs in 4 of 5 seasons, the Texans collapsed to 4-12 in 2020. Watt has expressed a want to play for a contending workforce within the twilight of his profession.
“I don’t assume it’s any secret that I don’t have 10 years left on this league,” Watt told ESPN in November. “I’m not trying to rebuild. I’m trying to go after a championship, and that’s what I wish to do.”
Like most dangerous groups, the Texans should determine whether or not to strive to make things better rapidly or go for a whole rebuild. The workforce has mentioned it will not commerce its star quarterback Deshaun Watson, however reviews proceed to swirl that they’re procuring him. Watt would have been paid $17.5 million had the Texans retained him this coming season.
Watt was drafted No. 11 total in 2011 out of Wisconsin. At 6-foot-5 and almost 300 kilos, he has been a fearsome presence on the line of defense and an elite move rusher, together with 4 seasons with 15 or extra sacks. He was one in every of solely three defensive gamers unanimously chosen to the N.F.L.’s all-decade workforce for the 2010s, together with Von Miller of the Broncos and Aaron Donald of the Rams.
He has 5 Professional Bowl picks, however has had harm issues lately. He did play 16 video games this previous season, however had solely 5 sacks with the struggling Texans. He has 101 sacks in 10 seasons, almost double the subsequent highest complete in Texans historical past.
Though the Texans had some good years in his 10-season run with them, the championship he needs eluded him and his workforce by no means superior previous the divisional spherical of the playoffs.
It has been a tough couple of months for Houston sports activities groups. In January, the Rockets traded the previous most useful participant James Harden to the Nets, and the Astros misplaced the previous World Collection Most Invaluable Participant George Springer to the Blue Jays in free company.
Moreover his three defensive participant of the yr awards, the final in 2015, Watt gained the Walter Payton man of the yr award in 2017 for his efforts to boost tens of millions for aid after Hurricane Harvey.
“Merely put, there was no individual prior to now decade who has made a better affect on the Texans group than J.J. Watt,” team owner Janice McNair said in a statement.
Watt expressed his sentiments towards Houston followers on Friday. “The best way you guys have handled me — besides draft night time, you guys booed me on draft night time — however day by day after that you just handled me like household.”