J.J. Watt Announces Free Agency Decision
By Jason Hall
March 1, 2021
J.J. Watt has found his next NFL home.
The former three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year announced his decision to sign with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday (March 1.)
Watt shared a tweet of himself squatting in a Cardinals t-shirt with the caption, "source: me."
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirmed Watt agreed to a two-year contract with Arizona worth $31 million, with $23 million guaranteed, according to sources.
Watt was granted his release by the Houston Texans last month, which he confirmed in a video addressing the Houston fans on his Twitter account.
The Wisconsin native spent his entire 10-year NFL career with the Texans after being selected No. 11 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, prior to his release on February 12.
“I came here 10 years ago as a kid from Wisconsin, who’d never really been to Texas before,” Watt said in his Twitter video. “And now I can’t imagine my life without Texas in it. The way that you guys have treated me, besides draft night. I mean, you guys booed me on draft night. But every day after that, you treated me like family. And I truly feel like you’re my family.”
Watt won three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards and was the only player since 1982 to record multiple seasons with 20 or more sacks during an incredible stretch from 2012 and 2015.
The former Wisconsin standout finished his career in Houston as the franchise's all-time leader in sacks (101.0), tackles for loss (172), QB hits (282), forced fumbles (25) and fumble recoveries (16), while also making five Pro Bowl appearances (2012-15, 2016), and eight All-Pro nominations, including five first-team (2012-15, 2018) and three second-team (2014-15, 2018.)
Last month, Watt's former Houston Texans teammate DeAndre Hopkins, now a member of the Arizona Cardinals, which featured the former Defensive Player of the Year embracing Hopkins in a photoshopped Cardinals uniform with the caption, "Let's finish what we started..."
Several other teams were reported to have interest in Watt prior to his announcement on Monday.
Photo: Getty Images