Sunday, December 5

What happened to JJ Watt? Why the NFL star left the Texans, signed with the Cardinals before the 2021 season

JJ Watt was a mainstay on the field and on the sidelines of the Texans for a decade. The team selected him with the 11th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and he was one of the star players to watch anytime Houston played in prime time.

But when the Texans face the Panthers on “Thursday Night Football,” they will do so without Watt. He and the Texans parted ways during the 2021 offseason.

Watt built a historic Hall of Fame career with the Texans. He was named AP All-Pro five times and recorded 101 sacks during his career. That’s the most in Texan history by a wide margin; Whitney Mercilus (55) is second on the list.

Watt also won the Defensive Player of the Year award three times.

Why did JJ Watt leave the Texans? And where is he playing during his eleventh season in the NFL? Here’s everything you need to know about Watt’s off-season trading.

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Why did JJ Watt leave the Texans?

Watt and the Texans mutually agreed to part ways during the 2021 offseason. He announced that decision in a video posted on his Twitter account on February 12, 2021.

This was not a surprise. The Texans were 4-12 during the 2020 season and headed for a rebuild. Watt wanted to play for a contender.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that I don’t have 10 years left in this league,” Watt said in November 2020, by ESPN. “I personally think I have some bigger ones left in me. But neither can you … I’m not looking to rebuild. I’m looking for a championship, and that’s what I want to do. So whatever is in Houston’s best interest. Texans, that’s in my best interest. “

The Texans, who were ready to look for a new coach and general manager after firing Bill O’Brien and had no first- or second-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, could not offer Watt the opportunity to play for a playoff team. just one Super Bowl winner. So, they chose to separate.

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The parting was heartfelt for Watt.

“I came here 10 years ago when I was a kid from Wisconsin who had never been to Texas before. And now I can’t imagine my life without Texas,” Watt said. “The way they’ve treated me, besides draft night, I mean they booed me on draft night, but every day after that they treated me like family. And I really feel like they are my own. family”.

The Texans shared the sentiment and thanked Watt for all he had done for the franchise in an official statement from the team.

“Change is never easy, especially when it involves loved ones. JJ’s impact not only on our organization, but on the entire Houston community, is unlike any other player in the history of our franchise,” said the president. and Texans CEO Cal McNair. “I told JJ earlier this week that we will always consider him a Texan. It comforts us to know that this is not goodbye, but a ‘see you soon.’

Watt was released shortly after that announcement was made, preparing to move on to his second NFL team.

“I’m excited and looking forward to another opportunity,” Watt said. “And I’ve been working really hard. But at the same time, it’s always hard to keep going. And I just want you to know that I love you, appreciate you. I appreciate the McNair family for choosing me and giving me my first chance in the NFL. Thank you. , Houston, I love you. “

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Where is JJ Watt now?

Watt will play for the Cardinals in 2021. He signed a two-year, $ 28 million deal to join a defensive line that already has one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, Chandler Jones.

Watt’s move has worked so far. The Cardinals are 2-0 to start the season and looked like a legitimate playoff contender after battering the Titans 38-13 in Week 1. Week 2 was a bit tougher, but they still managed a 34 win. -33 on the Vikings.

While Watt has yet to generate a sack in Arizona, he has racked up four tackles, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit. He also helped divert attention from Jones during his five-sack outing in the Cardinals’ season opener.

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