Andrew Dawson Staff Writer|
The Houston Texans released J.J. Watt on Friday, Feb. 12 after he played 10 seasons with the team. Watt has been the face of the Texans, winning Defensive Player of The Year (DPOY) three times and becoming a Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient.
The defensive star released a video via Twitter to let the city of Houston know about his departure. In his video, Watt said, “I came here 10 years ago as a kid from Wisconsin who’d never really been to Texas before. And now I can’t imagine my life without the Texans in it.” Later in the video, he said, “I’m excited and looking forward to a new opportunity.”
Watt was released by the Texans per his request. The Texans seem to be re-building and Watt did not want to be a part of it. This past November, he said, “I don’t think it’s any secret that I don’t have 10 years left in this league. I personally believe that I do have a few more great ones left in me. I’m not looking to rebuild. I’m looking to go after a championship, and that’s what I want to do.” Quarterback Deshaun Watson of the Texans is also trying to be traded because of issues with the front office and owner of the team.
According to NFL Reporter Adam Schefter, there are 12 teams interested in signing Watt. While the future Hall of Famer is heading towards the end of his career, he may be able to boost the pass rush for teams competing for the Super Bowl. The favorites to land Watt are the Green Bay Packers, the Tennessee Titans, and the Buffalo Bills.
The Titans have made the playoffs in the past two NFL seasons and went to the American Football Conference (AFC) championship game back in 2019. Tennessee has a strong offense led by running back Derrick Henry but is in desperate need of a pass rush. They believe with the addition of Watt, they can become Super Bowl favorites. Watt could be a starting player on this team because of their lack in their pass rush. It is unclear how teams plan to use him because teams may want to use him as a rotational player rather than playing every snap on defense due to his age and injury history.
It’s currently unclear which team will sign Watt. Money is not Watt’s main concern, rather he just wants to prioritize a Super Bowl victory before he retires. Fans are becoming anxious to see where he signs and many believe he is going to sign with Green Bay because that’s where he was born, and Watt was wearing a Wisconsin sweatshirt while addressing the city of Houston in his video. He tweeted, “I scroll through Doordash for like an hour before I pick a restaurant man… You’re gonna have to give me a second to choose a new team and new city.” The team that does sign Watt will get one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL.