Houston Texans releasing star defensive lineman J.J. Watt

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Barry Werner
·2 min read
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Stunning NFL news on a Friday as the Houston Texans are releasing star defensive lineman J.J. Watt, per a report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Watt subsequently confirmed the news, making an announcement in a video. He had met with team owner Cal McNair and the sides agreed to part ways.

Watt received the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award three times in his first five seasons. He holds the Texans’ franchise records for both sacks (101) and forced fumbles (25).

Watt will turn 32 on March 22. He was the 11th overall pick out of Wisconsin by the Texans in 2011.

This is the continuation of a tumultuous off-season in Houston that has seen star quarterback Deshaun Watson seek a trade after he sought to have input on the team’s hiring of a GM and coach. It was ignored leading to the trade request.

Houston went from a playoff team in 2019 to a 4-12 mark in the AFC South in 2020. Its coach, Bill O’Brien, was fired after an 0-4 start. Romeo Crennel finished the season as interim coach. Of the seven NFL teams to hire coaches, Houston was last before finally settling on longtime NFL assistant David Culley.