Texans grant former Wisconsin star J.J. Watt’s request to be released

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Zach Kruse
·2 min read
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The Houston Texans will release one of the best football players to ever come out of the state of Wisconsin.

Defensive lineman J.J. Watt announced Friday that he requested and was granted his release from the Texans after he met with the team’s ownership group and the two sides mutually agreed to part ways.

“I’m excited to and looking forward to a new opportunity,” Watt said.

Watt is a native of Pewaukee who played collegiately for the Badgers in Madison and was a first-round pick of the Texans in 2011. He is an eight-time All-Pro and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, making him one of the most accomplished defensive players in NFL history.

Could he return to Wisconsin as a free agent?

The Green Bay Packers are financially strapped entering the offseason, needing to shed around $30 million just to get under the projected salary cap before the start of the new league year. However, Brian Gutekunst’s team does need help along the defensive line, and Watt grew up a fan of the Packers and still resides in Wisconsin.

The team would need to jump over several salary cap hurdles to make it work, and Watt would likely need to agree to a heavily back-loaded contract without much money upfront. Both are probably unlikely scenarios.

Watt turns 32 in March. He played in all 16 games in 2020, tallying five sacks, 45 total pressures, 14 tackles for losses, two forced fumbles, seven pass breakups and one interception return for a touchdown over 1,013 snaps.

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