Houston Texans defensive J.J. Watt might have played his last game in a Texans' uniform.
James Palmer of the NFL Network reported that a few players and coaches said Watt will not be returning to Houston next season.
After the Texans 37–31 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 27, Watt expressed his frustration with Houston.
"We're professional athletes getting paid a whole lot of money, Watt said. "If you can't come in and put work in in the building and go out to the practice field and work hard, do your lifts and do what you're supposed to do, you should not be here."
Watt, 31, is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He is due a $17.5 million non-guaranteed base salary in 2021.
Watt has played with the Texans since the franchise selected him with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
In November, Watt told ESPN his thoughts about his career with the Texans, saying his goal is not just to make the playoffs.
"Your goal can't be to win one or two playoff games," Watt said. "If your goal is not to win the Super Bowl, and your goal is not to do everything in your power to make that happen, and make your organization in the best possible situation for that, then that's not going to happen. So that is my goal. That's why the work goes in. That's why I fought back from all these injuries. Because that's the goal, and that's what I'm still working towards."
Houston's dysfunction stretches beyond the woes with Watt. After starting the 2020 season 0-4, the Texans fired Bill O’Brien in October, who was serving as the team's general manager and head coach.
Houston finished the season 4-12 and Houston hired former Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio to be the team's next general manager. Caserio's hire angered quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was told by owner Cal McNair that the signal-caller would be involved in the hiring process for the general manager and coach.
This week, the Texans named David Culley their next head coach, prompting Watson to request a trade.