It’s the end of an era in Houston. The Texans have released their Franchise cornerstone, JJ Watt. According to Watt himself in this message on Twitter, it was a “mutual agreement.”
Watt was drafted by the Texans with the 11th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Texans knew that they would be getting a stud pass rusher for years to come, but no one could ever have predicted the impact he would have for the city of Houston off the field. Watt is an incredible player. In his ten seasons in Houston, Watt racked up 531 tackles, 101 sacks, 172 tackles for loss, 25 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions, 61 passes defensed, 1 safety, 4 kicks blocked, and 7 total touchdowns (4 defensive, 3 offensive).
His accolades include:
3× NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014, 2015)
5× First-team All-Pro (2012–2015, 2018)
3× Second-team All-Pro (2014–2015, 2018)
5× Pro Bowl (2012–2015, 2018)
2× NFL sacks leader (2012, 2015)
Member of the “100 Sacks Club”
Watt was never able to bring the city of Houston a championship, but his charity work after Hurricane Harvey devastated the city in 2017 is more meaningful than a Lombardi trophy could have ever been. Watt originally set a fundraising goal of $200,000 to help those impacted by the hurricane, $100,000 of which he donated himself, but was able to use his name and influence to raise a whopping $41.6 million. “The money has helped rebuild more than 1,183 homes in the Houston area. More than 971 childcare centers and after school programs have also been rebuilt and recovered with the money, which have helped more than 108,000 kids, and over 239 million meals have been distributed to victims of the hurricane.” (Emily Caron, Sports Illustrated).
This upcoming NFL offseason will be one of the craziest in history. Whatever team ends up signing Watt will be getting a world-class football player and person.