J.J. Watt: 'I'm Gonna Work My Ass Off' After Signing Cardinals Contract

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 2, 2021

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2021, file photo, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) waves to fans as he walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans in Houston. Watt is gone from the Texans and Deshaun Watson wants out, too. The Texans have been making plenty of headlines this offseason. Not one has been good. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith, File)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

J.J. Watt has offered his first message to the Arizona Cardinals fanbase after signing a deal with the franchise.  

"The one thing that I can promise you is I'm gonna work my ass off every single day to make you proud," he said in a video released on the Cardinals' Twitter account Monday.

Arizona Cardinals @AZCardinals

"The one thing I can promise you is I'm gonna work my ass off every single day to make you proud." @JJWatt has arrived in Arizona. https://t.co/Kyy28GZDhM

According to the video, Watt landed in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Monday afternoon, the same day he announced he had signed with the team. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Watt signed a two-year deal worth $31 million ($23 million guaranteed). ESPN's Ed Werder reported that about a dozen teams were pursuing Watt, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and five-time All-Pro.

The 31-year-old had spent his entire 10-year career with the Houston Texans before the two sides mutually split in February amid turmoil in the organization. Quarterback Deshaun Watson also reportedly requested a trade away from the team. 

In Arizona, a middle-of-the-road defense allowed 351.9 yards and 22.9 points per game in 2020 en route to an 8-8 finish. The team hasn't made the postseason and has posted just two .500 seasons since 2015.

The signing paved the way for Watt to reunite with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who was dealt from Houston to Arizona ahead of the 2020 season. He helped lead an offense that averaged 384.6 yards of total offense per game (sixth-best in the NFL). 

Watt could be the missing piece the Cardinals need in order to compete at the next level.