By JEANETTE TORRES-PEREZ, ABC News
(HOUSTON) — J.J. Watt’s request to be released from the Houston Texans has been granted, the team and defensive end announced on Friday.
In a video posted to Twitter, Watt said he “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.”
Houston, I wanted you to hear this directly from me… pic.twitter.com/YqT3P6Lb6l
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 12, 2021
His departure comes 10 years after he was drafted by the Texans in 2011. During that time, Watt won three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards (2012, 2014 and 2015) and became Houston’s all-time sacks leader.
“Change is never easy, especially when it involves the ones you love,” Texans Chair and CEO Cal McNair said in a statement. “J.J.’s impact on not only our organization, but the entire Houston community, is unlike any player in our franchise’s history.”
“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,” the CEO continued.
In his video message, Watt said he’s “excited and looking forward to a new opportunity, and I’ve been working extremely hard. But at the same time, it is always tough to move on.”
“And I just want you guys to know that I love you. I appreciate you. I appreciate the McNair family for drafting me and giving me my first opportunity in the NFL. Thank you, Houston. I love you,” the 31-year-old concluded.
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