J.J. Watt didn’t just play for the Houston Texans, he was the Houston Texans.
The physical embodiment of a young franchise lacking much of an identity before the burly Wisconsin kid donned that No. 99 jersey in 2011, Watt wowed the football world with his defensive prowess.
“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,” Watt said Friday in a video on social media.
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year and 2017 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year had one year left on a six-year, $100 million contract.
Watt’s departure comes in an offseason in which the Texans have hired coach David Culley and general manager Nick Caserio to replace Bill O’Brien. They’re also facing uncertainty at quarterback because Deshaun Watson requested a trade.
• A group whose mission is to increase diversity in the NFL strongly criticized the Jacksonville Jaguars and new coach Urban Meyer for hiring assistant Chris Doyle, and later Friday evening, Doyle resigned.
The Fritz Pollard Alliance cited accusations of racism involving Doyle, who lost his job as the University of Iowa after more than a dozen former players said he bullied and discriminated against them. Doyle has denied the allegations.
But he resigned, according to a statement from Meyer, so he wouldn’t “be a distraction.”
College football: Oregon starting quarterback Tyler Shough announced he is entering the transfer portal with three years of eligibility remaining.
Olympics: Yoshiro Mori resigned as the president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee after sexist comments made last week in which he said women “talk too much.”