The mass exodus from the Houston Texans is still ongoing, and the latest departure is arguably one of their greatest players, J.J. Watt.
On Friday morning, Watt announced on Twitter that he asked for his release; ending his Houston tenure that lasted ten seasons.
“I wanted to do this on video as opposed to putting out a statement or doing a press conference or anything like that because I want you guys to hear it directly from me. I want to speak directly to you and the city of Houston so you can hear the words straight from my mouth,” Watt said. in the two-minute video.
“I have 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.”
Now that Watt is officially on the market, the big question is where he’ll head to next. Most might assume that Watt will want to join a contender after ten years of misery in Houston. And that’s not a far fetched assumption. After all, he’s never played past the NFL Playoffs’ divisional round while with the Texans. However, even though Watt asked for his release, he did not dictate that he is necessarily looking to head to a contender.
For this reason alone, the Detroit Lions need to exercise their due diligence and contact Watt to gauge his interest in coming to the Motor City.
Watt would bring credibility to the Lions’ rebuild.
He’s a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, eight-time All-Pro, and five-time Pro Bowler. Now being honest, Watt is not playing at the same level he did during his prime. Watt has started and played a full 16-game season seven times in his career, including this past season.
He posted some of his career’s lowest totals last season, recording 52 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception. While those were career-lows for Watt, they were still higher than anyone on the Lions defensive line.
With the Detroit Lions “retooling” their franchise, Watt would bring instant creditability to their defense. He’s the embodiment of the “toughness” that Lions’ head coach Dan Campbell––and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn––want in the locker room and on the field. Along with that, Watt defines leadership and accountability.
He displayed these traits following after a Texans’ 41-38 loss to the Tennessee Titans last season. When walking off the field, he apologized to the disgruntled Deshaun Watson.
“I’m sorry. We wasted one of your years. I mean, we should have 11 wins,” Watt said
Watt will be 32 when the next season starts. There is no real reason he would want to come to Detroit. Given that there are many playoff-ready teams in need of his services, the Lions may be dead-last on his list.
Regardless, the Detroit Lions should let J.J. Watt tell them he doesn’t want to come. If they don’t ask, then the answer is already what many assume it will be.
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