Every NFL offseason brings a storyline that fans can’t seem to get enough of, and the sports media can’t seem to stop covering.
This offseason, that storyline comes from the Houston Texans, who are in the midst of what can only be described as an offseason from hell.
But the chaos in Houston isn’t going to slow down anytime soon it appears, as three-time defensive MVP J.J. Watt and the Texans dropped a bombshell on their fans.
Just a few years ago, almost everything seemed to be going in the right direction for the Houston Texans.
By selecting quarterback Deshaun Watson with the 12th overall pick in the 2017 draft, it appeared the Texans would finally be able to put the pieces together on offense to compliment their defense, led by J.J. Watt.
For years, Watt had been one of the only bright spots for the Texans, racking up banner season after banner season on his way to three defensive player of the year awards, five All-Pro seasons, and countless other awards and accolades.
The combination of Watson on offense and Watt on defense gave the Texans the exact type of success they were looking for, as they compiled 11 wins and 10 wins in the 2018 and 2019 seasons respectively.
But in 2020, everything seemed to fall apart with the Texans winning just four games, and being forced to fire their head coach and general manager.
That dismal season and the subsequent firings have now led to an offseason the Texans won’t soon recover from.
Watson is demanding a trade, and reportedly would rather sit the entire 2021 season out than play another game in Houston after he was told by Texans ownership he’d have input on the hiring of their new coach and general manager but was not afforded that opportunity.
And now, the franchise’s cornerstone for the past decade, J.J. Watt, and the Texans have mutually agreed to part ways.
Watt posted a video to social media on Friday in which he said that he asked the Texans for his release.
Houston, I wanted you to hear this directly from me… pic.twitter.com/YqT3P6Lb6l
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 12, 2021
“I came here 10 years ago as a kid from Wisconsin who had never really been to Texas before,” Watt said. “Now I can’t imagine my life without Texas in it.”
Watt’s decision to move on has been a point of speculation for a few weeks now.
Just over a week ago, reports surfaced that suggested Watt, who was going to be in the final year of his contract in 2021, wanted to have clarity about his future with the team.
Watt had also previously made clear at the end of the 2020 season that he had zero interest in being a part of another rebuild in Houston, as that’s basically what his entire 10-year career with the team had been.
Clearly, this is a move Watt has been thinking about for some time, and with all of the chaos and uncertainty in Houston with the Deshaun Watson situation, it was time for him to move on.
J.J. Watt was certainly the best football player the Texans ever had, and he’ll end his career in Houston with 101 career sacks in 128 games played, 531 tackles, and two interceptions that were both returned for touchdowns.
But off the field, he was just as important to Houston, as evidenced by the almost $42 MILLION he raised for the area after Hurricane Harvey ravished the community.
Needless to say, as promising as the Texans outlook was two years ago, they are now faced with an almost insurmountable rebuild on their hands.
The Texans were essentially given the perfect situation with elite players on both sides of the ball to build around, and they basically destroyed it in one season.
And they may not soon recover from this mess they’ve created.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.