Deshaun Watson ‘Salutes’ J.J. Watt After Release from Houston Texans

by Chris Haney

On Friday morning, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt announced his release from the team, and Deshaun Watson made sure to salute his teammate after hearing the news.

Watson himself has been at the center of recent trade speculation. The media claimed the quarterback asked for a trade after a series of issues within the organization. For today though, the spotlight focused on Watt’s release. Watson thanked Watt and called him one of the greats in his message.

“Salute to one of the Greatest of All Time,” Watson tweeted. “I appreciate you for all the work you put in and more importantly the person you are. Any team in the league will be better the day you [put] on their jersey! 1OVE my brother! MORE Glory.”

The Texans’ front office has publicly stated they have no intention of trading Watson. However, it looks like the franchise is already in rebuilding mode. They traded their star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals before the 2020 season began.

Now, the team has released Watt, who is arguably Houston’s greatest player in franchise history. All eyes will be on Watson now to see if the team grants his wish as well.

J.J. Watt Released by Houston Texans

Although the media has speculated about J.J. Watt’s future in Houston as well, the news of his release still came as a shock to most.

Watt, a 3-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, was the face of the franchise, and had been for years. During a recorded video posted on Friday morning, the defensive end shared details about his release. It turns out he recently sat down with the owners of the Texans and asked for his release.

“I want to speak directly to [the fans] and the city of Houston so you can hear the words straight from my mouth. I have sat down with the McNair family and I have asked them for my release. And we have mutually agreed to part ways at this time,” Watt explained.

After 10 years with the Texans, Watt will now look for a new city to ply his trade in. He made sure to thank Houston fans for all their support over the last decade and said they treated him “like family.” Additionally, he also thanked his teammates, coaches, and ownership for his time with the Texans.

Watt shared that it will be tough to move on, but also stated, “I’m excited and looking forward to a new opportunity.”

During the 2011 NFL Draft, the Texans selected Watt with their first round pick. Houston fans booed the pick when Houston selected him, but they fell in love with the player soon after.

Watt made five Pro Bowls, five All-Pro teams, and earned 101 sacks despite numerous injuries throughout the last decade. He’s also well-known within the community for his humanitarian work. He helped spearhead relief efforts in Houston following Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The NFL star’s foundation raised $41.6 million, making it the largest crowd-sourced fundraiser in history.

Yet turmoil within the Texans franchise came to a head this offseason. Following the trade of Hopkins and issues with Watson, Watt is now looking to move on to greener pastures.

It is unclear where the defensive end will land, but many have said it’s a real possibility he could end up with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His little brothers, T.J. Watt and Derek Watt, play for Pittsburgh, so all three brothers could soon be wearing black and gold.