J.J. Watt on future in Houston: ‘I’m not looking to rebuild’

The Houston Texans’ season has gone about as poorly as even their biggest skeptic could have imagined before the season. Their best receiver (and possibly the best pass-catcher in the game) is gone. The coach/general manager who traded their best receiver is also gone. And at 1-6, they are already on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff picture.

Could Houston be looking to rebuild? It’s certainly possible, but veteran superstar defensive end J.J. Watt told reporters there’s not enough time left in his career to wait around for the Texans to build towards being good in 3-5 years.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that I don’t have 10 years left in this league,” Watt said, via Sarah Barshop of ESPN. “I personally believe that I do have a few more great ones left in me. But you also can’t … I’m not looking to rebuild. I’m looking to go after a championship, and that’s what I want to do. So, whatever is in the best interest of the Houston Texans, that’s in the best interest of myself.”

Watt is 31, which is not so old that he is expected to retire in the next season or two. And while he has not been as spectacular as his dominant peak, Watt has still been a solid contributor rushing the passer, racking up three sacks so far this season. But given Watt’s injury history, he’s missed at least eigh games three of the last four seasons, it makes sense that he feels like he’s playing against the clock.

So if Houston is indeed rebuilding, could Watt’s time with the Texans be coming to an end? It’s possible but not a guarantee. He still has a year left on his contract after this season but it’s not guaranteed money, so the two sides could conceivably part ways, letting Watt try to join a contender. 

But if the team is indeed looking to the future, they are in desperate need of picks, as they do not have their first- or second-round picks next season. So, Houston could try to keep Watt around in order to then trade him to get some draft capital.

Of course, Houston might have no interest in their franchise’s best player ever leaving town and keep him around as long as they can. But if they want Watt to stick around past 2021, they’re going to need to show him they can compete sooner rather than later.


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