AFC South news: Texans releasing franchise centerpiece J.J. Watt

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Tyler Nettuno
·2 min read
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Turmoil in Houston continues to rise. After weeks of drama regarding franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is disgruntled and wants to be traded, the Texans’ have decided to move on from their longtime leader on defense.

On Friday, Houston released five-time First-Team All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt after the 10th-year player requested it. Watt released a video confirming that he and the Texans had “mutually parted ways.”

“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.”

Coming off yet another season in 2019 that was limited by injuries, Watt started all 16 games this year, though he didn’t quite return to form. He had 52 tackles (14 for loss) to go along with five sacks. But the Texans struggled as a team, firing coach Bill O’Brien after an 0-4 start and finishing the season at 4-12.

Now facing a rebuild with an unhappy quarterback, the situation in the Lone Star State seems like an uphill climb.