Houston Texans conform to unlock J.J. Watt at his request

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans have launched megastar defensive finish J.J. Watt, granting his request.

Watt was once drafted through the Texans in 2011 with the No. 11 pick out and become the face of the franchise, successful 3 NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards from 2012 to ’15. Watt is considered one of 3 avid gamers to win that award thrice.

“I’ve sat down with the McNair circle of relatives and I’ve requested them for my unlock and we now have mutually agreed to section tactics presently,” Watt stated in a video posted to Twitter. “I got here right here 10 years in the past as a child from Wisconsin who’d by no means in point of fact been to Texas earlier than. And now I will’t consider my existence with out Texas in it. The means that you just guys have handled me, but even so draft night time. I imply, you guys booed me on draft night time. But on a daily basis after that, you handled me like circle of relatives. And I really really feel like you might be my circle of relatives.

“… I’m excited and taking a look ahead to a brand new alternative, and I’ve been operating extraordinarily exhausting. But on the similar time, it’s at all times tricky to transport on. And I simply need you guys to understand that I like you. I respect you. I respect the McNair circle of relatives for drafting me and giving me my first alternative within the NFL.”

Watt is coming off simply his 2nd 16-game season since 2015, as he has handled a number of season-ending accidents since then.

“Change is rarely simple, particularly when it comes to those you’re keen on. J.J.’s affect on now not most effective our group, however all of the Houston neighborhood, is in contrast to any participant in our franchise’s historical past,” Texans chair and CEO Cal McNair stated in a ready remark. “I informed J.J. previous this week that we will be able to eternally believe him a Texan. We take solace in figuring out that this isn’t a good-bye however a ‘see you quickly.’ For now, we will be able to construct upon the root that J.J. created right here and forge forward with our unwavering venture to carry a championship to our town, create memorable studies for our lovers and do good stuff for Houston.”

In 2020, Watt ranked fifteenth out of 119 certified pass-rushers in cross rush win fee, consistent with ESPN Stats & Information. He completed the season with 5 sacks, two compelled fumbles and an interception he returned for a landing.

Watt is through some distance the best pass-rusher in Texans historical past, with 101 profession sacks. There had been most effective two avid gamers in staff historical past with greater than 30 profession sacks (Whitney Mercilus with 54 and Mario Williams with 53) because the franchise’s first season in 2002.

During the season, Watt made it transparent he was once now not curious about enjoying for a staff going via a “rebuild.”

“I don’t believe it is any secret that I wouldn’t have 10 years left on this league,” Watt said in November. “I individually consider that I do have a couple of extra nice ones left in me. But you can also’t … I’m now not taking a look to rebuild. I’m taking a look to move after a championship, and that’s the reason what I wish to do.”

When requested on the finish of the season whether or not he felt the 2021 Texans can be in rebuilding mode, Watt stated there are “such a lot of unknown elements to that state of affairs presently that you’ll be able to’t definitively say that.”

Watt had 365 days last at the contract he signed in 2014. He was once owed $17.5 million in 2021, however his wage was once now not assured. He is now loose to signal with some other staff.

Shortly after Watt’s announcement, his brother, Pittsburgh Steelers LB T.J. Watt tweeted a reaction.

While one participant is leaving, some other stays locked in a stalemate with the staff as Deshaun Watson has asked a industry regardless of the Texans reiterating they have got no aim of dealing the megastar quarterback.