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Deshaun Watson Says J.J. Watt Is 1 of the GOATs After Star's Release from Texans

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2021

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) and quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) walk off the field after an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. The Titans won 41-38. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson called J.J. Watt "one of the greatest of all time" after the defensive end's release from the organization Friday.

Watson posted his reaction on Twitter after Watt announced he'd mutually agreed to part ways with the Texans:

Deshaun Watson @deshaunwatson

Salute to one of the Greatest of All Time @JJWatt I appreciate you for all the work you put in and more importantly the person you are. Any team in the league will be better the day you out on their jersey! 1OVE my brother! MORE Glory 🙏🏾

They'd been teammates since Houston selected the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year arrived in 2011.

Having a high-end signal-caller and edge-rusher on the roster at the same time is usually a recipe for success, so it's a bit surprising the Texans weren't able to generate more success over the past four years. They made the playoffs twice but failed to advance beyond the divisional round.

Now that Watt is heading toward free agency, an even greater focus will be placed on Watson's future after he submitted a trade request in January.

Texans owner Cal McNair continued to signal the franchise's unwillingness to move the 25-year-old Clemson product will confirming Watt's departure.

"There is a lot of misinformation out there, I'll leave it at that," McNair told reporters. "Today we want to focus on J.J. Deshaun is our quarterback, he is a Texan and we expect him to remain a Texan, and we'll leave that."

NFL Films @NFLFilms

In one of his final moments with the Texans, JJ Watt and Deshaun Watson shared this emotional moment. https://t.co/mcTVK3ZeJG

Houston does hold leverage since Watson is under contract through 2025 as part of a four-year, $156 million deal, so the sides could be headed toward a prolonged stare down.

Watt's exit, further clouding the Texans' ability to contend for a Super Bowl in the short term, creates another hurdle in the club's effort to reconcile with its quarterback.