HOUSTON – Defensive end J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans have decided to part ways after a rocky season.
The football player announced his release in a Twitter video on Friday morning.
“I want to speak directly to you, the City of Houston, so you can hear the words coming straight out of my mouth,” he said in the video. “I have sat down the McNair family and I have asked them for my release and we have mutually agreed to part ways at this time.”
Houston, I wanted you to hear this directly from me... pic.twitter.com/YqT3P6Lb6l— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 12, 2021
Watt went on to say he loves Houston, and he “can’t imagine my life without Texas in it.”
“The connection I have with the people of Houston is special, and I will never take that for granted because I know how rare it is,” he added. “I just want you to know that I love you and I appreciate you. I want to thank the McNair family for drafting me and giving me my first opportunity in the NFL. Thank you, Houston.”
His departure has ended the tenure of the face of the franchise and has added another huge change to an offseason filled with upheaval.
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year and 2017 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year has spent his entire career with the Texans after being selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft.
The defensive end had one year remaining on a 6-year, $100 million contract.
Along with his contributions on the field, Watt was lauded for his humanitarian efforts after raising more than $40 million for Hurricane Harvey relief in 2017.
Watt’s departure comes in an offseason where the Texans have hired coach David Culley and general manager Nick Caserio to replace Bill O’Brien, who held both jobs and was fired after the team opened the season 0-4. They’re also facing uncertainty at quarterback after star Deshaun Watson requested a trade.
The Houston Texans thanked Watt in a Tweet shortly after.
“Always a Texan. Thank you, J.J. Watt,” the Texans said in the post.
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