The Houston Texans will be releasing legendary defensive lineman J.J. Watt, easily the greatest defensive player in franchise history, following Watt’s meeting with owner Cal McNair to request his release, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.
Watt, who still plans to play, is now going to hit the free agent market where he can choose his next team.
Watt was due to earn $17.5 million in 2021 in what would have been the final year of his contract. Watt has no guaranteed money remaining on the deal, so the Texans will get some financial relief with the move.
According to Over the Cap, the Texans were a projected $13.4 million over the cap heading into the offseason, so the release of Watt will help considerable moving forward.
Watt was drafted in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He is a three-time defensive player of the year, five-time first team All Pro, and leaves the Texans as the leader in sacks with 101, which ranks him 31st in NFL history.