NFL fans react after J.J. Watt announces his release from the Texans

J.J. Watt asked for his release from the Texans, and his wish was granted.

Watt was a first-round draft pick for the Texans in 2011, and has spent his entire career there. He earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors three times during his run with Houston, but his off-field impact was felt as well — most notably, his Hurricane Harvey relief fund, which raised more than $40 million in donations. According to KHOU, two years after the start of his relief fund, Watt’s efforts helped repair 1,183 homes and 971 childcare centers. It also helped serve 239 million meals to those impacted by the hurricane.

Even though Watt won’t spend his entire career in Houston, he’ll forever be remembered in that city.

As for the football side of things, Watt’s release was his own doing. In a video announcing the transaction, Watt said he wanted to move on.

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“The connection I have with the people of Houston is special, and I will never take that for granted because I know how rare it is. I just want you to know that I love you and I appreciate you,” Watt said in the video. “I want to thank the McNair family for drafting me and giving me my first opportunity in the NFL. Thank you, Houston.”

Texans CEO Cal McNair confirmed the move in a statement.

“Change is never easy, especially when it involves the ones you love. J.J.’s impact on not only our organization, but the entire Houston community, is unlike any player in our franchise’s history,” McNair said. “I told J.J. earlier this week that we will forever consider him a Texan. We take solace in knowing that this is not a goodbye but a ‘see you soon.’ For now, we will build upon the foundation that J.J. created here and forge ahead with our unwavering mission to bring a championship to our city, create memorable experiences for our fans and do great things for Houston.”

Watt’s release caused quite the buzz on social media. Below are some reactions from fans, players and the media.

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