The J.J. Watt era in Houston is over.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the Texans are releasing the star defensive lineman, per a source informed of the situation.
Watt confirmed that he sat down with owner Cal McNair, asked for his release, and sides agreed to part ways.
The Texans later announced the team and Watt had mutually agreed to part ways.
“The connection I have with the people of Houston is special, and I will never take that for granted because I know how rare it is. I just want you to know that I love you and I appreciate you,” Watt said in a video posted to Twitter. “I want to thank the McNair family for drafting me and giving me my first opportunity in the NFL. Thank you, Houston.”
“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,” McNair said in a statement. “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.”