JJ Watt decided to end the free-agency speculation once it started spinning out of control.
One of the highest profile defenders in American football, Watt posted a photo of himself working out in an Arizona Cardinals shirt on Twitter with the caption, “source: me.”
The surprise announcement caught everyone in the NFL off guard.
NFL Network reported that Watt signed a two-year, $40 million ($US31m) deal with $US23 million guaranteed.
The decision has come as a shock, since talk of Watt prioritising a Super Bowl after 10 seasons with Texans and then signing with the Cardinals doesn’t quite add up.
Arizona finished 8-8 in 2020. The Texans released the 31-year-old Watt last month after he requested they do so.
His request came after his wife and soccer star Kealia Watt was traded to Chicago Red Stars in January.
The couple were married last month in the Bahamas.
After Watt’s free agency bombshell on Tuesday, the couple still have plenty to celebrate.
Watt had already made more than $US100 million in his playing contracts across his 10-year career — even before his latest deal with Arizona.
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J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson in Texans colours for the last time.Source:AFP
Earlier in the day, a reporter posted a fake Peloton account that he thought was Watt’s, which indicated the defensive end’s final three were the Bills, Packers and Browns.
Those three teams were seemingly among the favourites to sign Watt before Monday’s Cardinals reveal.
“i don’t own a bike. stop,” Watt, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time first-team All-Pro, wrote on Twitter.
source: me. pic.twitter.com/1Y6okQBUy5
It will be interesting to see how much Watt has left. He produced just five sacks in 16 games last year, the fewest of his career when playing a full season. His 36 tackles were also a career-low. The positive was he did appear in all 16 games for Houston after injuries limited him to eight the previous season.
It is Ironic that Watt chose the Cardinals. He will be reunited there with former Texans star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who was dealt by Houston last spring and had a monster season teaming up with quarterback Kyler Murray.
After Watt’s release, Hopkins posted a photoshopped image of the two together on Instagram with the caption: “Let’s finish what we started…”
A post shared by Deandre Hopkins (@deandrehopkins)
Watt will also be playing under defensive co-ordinator Vance Joseph, the Texans’ defensive backs coach his first three years in Houston, and joining elite pass-rusher Chandler Jones. The Cardinals defence was 12th in scoring defence a year ago, allowing 22.9 points per game, and 13th in yards allowed.
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