After a decade in Houston, J.J. Watt was unceremoniously released in a Friday news dump, so he took matters into his own hands.
Houston has many problems heading into the 2021 offseason, but it has rid itself of one of them.
Wait, what? J.J. Watt was a problem in Houston?
That’s the message ring telegraphed to Texans fans, as the team sent word on Friday that it was releasing its future Hall of Fame defensive end ahead of free agency opening next month.
There’s no elegant way to release a player, but the way Houston unceremoniously cut Watt in the Friday news dump cycle seems to be very on-brand for the downward spiral the new regime seems to already be in.
Watt posted the news himself, releasing a video announcing that the Texans had cut him.
What happens next for J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans?
There are many questions without immediate answers in the wake of Watt’s release. First and foremost is where will he play in 2021? A team like the Green Bay Packers seems to be a natural fit, with Watt going home to Wisconsin to help his hometown team win a Super Bowl. Despite his age and injury concerns, almost every other team besides Houston will at the very least entertain the idea of signing him even if it ends up being nothing more than a passing thought.
As for Houston, the nightmare offseason continues. Watt is past his prime, and his release isn’ as shocking as it would have been in years past, but context matters. Houston is in the middle of a blood feud with star quarterback Deshaun Watson, with no resolution in sight (aside from the very bad strategy of trying to force Watson to play for them).
Watt being released isn’t going to move the needle in one direction or the other, but is an indication to all that the new regime isn’t interested in sentimentality.
This now makes two franchise legends that Houston has released rather than finding a way to help them retire with the team on top. Andre Johnson and J.J. Watt both finished their careers with other teams, and Watson seems like he’s next in line to do so, making Houston less a football powerhouse and more the Detroit Lions of the south.