The Houston Texans and DE J.J. Watt have mutually agreed to part ways, the team announced today.
Watt is the franchise's all-time sacks leader (101.0), a three-time Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award winner (2012, 2014-15) and the 2017 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.
"Change is never easy, especially when it involves the ones you love. J.J.'s impact on not only our organization, but the entire Houston community, is unlike any player in our franchise's history," said Texans Chair and CEO Cal McNair. "I told J.J. earlier this week that we will forever consider him a Texan. We take solace in knowing that this is not a goodbye but a 'see you soon.' For now, we will build upon the foundation that J.J. created here and forge ahead with our unwavering mission to bring a championship to our city, create memorable experiences for our fans and do great things for Houston."
"Simply put, there has been no person in the past decade who has made a greater impact on the Texans organization than J.J. Watt," said Co-Founder and Senior Chair Janice S. McNair. "J.J.'s dominance on the field was unprecedented and resulted in countless moments that will go down in Texans history. To me, what best represents J.J.'s connection to Houston is his tradition of playing catch with the fans before every home game. The number of people who wear #99 jerseys with smiles on their faces totally encapsulated J.J.'s passion for bonding with Texans fans at every possible opportunity. His commitment to the community is unlike any player in NFL history. We are forever grateful to J.J. and his family."