Houston Texans are releasing DE J.J. Watt

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Mark Lane
·2 min read
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The Houston Texans are releasing J.J. Watt, the face of their franchise for the past decade.

According to a report from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year will be released by the AFC South club. Watt confirmed the news on Twitter, sharing a video message for fans to hear.

Watt was entering the final year of his contract and his salary was not guaranteed, which is a big hit to the salary cap-strapped Texans, who don’t have the same flexibility with the cap as they have had in previous years. Watt was set to cost the Texans $17.5 million against their salary cap.

The former 2011 first-round pick collected 52 combined tackles, 5.0 sacks, seven pass breakups, and an interception in 16 starts for Houston last year.

After Watt’s final game with the Texans, a 41-38 loss to the Tennessee Titans on a last-second field goal, Watt told quarterback Deshaun Watson that the team wasted one of the young signal caller’s best years.

“It was just tough,” Watson told reporters on Jan. 4. “We didn’t want the season to end like this. We wanted to win that game but that just summed up the whole year. That last couple minutes was just tough and we walked off together and just kind of saluted to our fans, appreciate the fans and then went into the locker room and just had a moment as a team.”

After the game, Watt said he had considered that it might have been the last time he played in front of Houston fans at NRG Stadium.

“It’s unfortunate that it wasn’t in front of a full stadium and all the fans, and it’s unfortunate it wasn’t a win, it’s unfortunate it was in this type of a season,” Watt said on Jan. 3. “Who knows? Like I said, there’s a lot of unknowns. But I think this city knows, I hope they know how I feel about them and how thankful I am.

“I’ve tried to do everything I possibly can and give everything I possibly have.”