HOUSTON – The Texans announced this evening that they have cut standout defensive end J.J. Watt, citing concerns he is no longer focused on football. Watt has been raising millions via social media for flood victims and flood recovery in Houston, but Texans officials felt his focus needed to be on the start of the NFL season that is now just 11 days away.
“Look, I appreciate his efforts and all that he has done for the city,” said head coach Bill O’Brien. “But when the ball is snapped next Sunday, the opponent isn’t going to care about how much money J.J. has raised. Football needs to be your No. 1 focus to win at this level, and it became clear this week that football was not J.J.’s focus.”
Watt now joins Colin Kaepernick as high-profile players who have lost employment in the NFL due to their social causes. Several NFL teams have expressed concern that the former 49ers quarterback needs focus less on social issues off the field, but Texans GM Rick Smith said Watt’s focus has been even more diluted.
“You can’t go online this week without seeing him making a video to raise more money,” said Smith. “I would have liked to see him watching video to get ready for the season, you know? Stick to sports. But he insisted on doing fundraising and so we told him we were going to have to cut ties. We wish him well, but we’re in the business of winning football games, not winning charity.”