JJ Watt to play for Arizona Cardinals

Former Houston Texans star JJ Watt has revealed that he is now playing for the Arizona Cardinals.

The defensive end posted a photo of himself on Twitter wearing Cardinals gear, with the caption "Source: me."

The Cardinals then confirmed the news on Twitter, saying he signed a two-year contract with the team.

A person familiar with the contract told The Associated Press that the total package is worth $31 million. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team did not reveal any terms.

Watt joins another former Texans star, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, in Arizona. Hopkins was acquired by the Cardinals in a one-sided trade a year ago.

Last month, the Texans and Watt announced that they had "mutually agreed to part ways," though he had one year remaining on a six-year, $100 million contract with the team. A five-time All-Pro, Watt — who turns 32 in three weeks — has been one of the NFL’s best players for a decade, but asked out in Houston, which is undergoing a roster upheaval.

JJ Watt, Houston Texans to part ways'

The Houston Texans and defensive end JJ Watt announced that they have "mutually agreed to part ways."

During his time in Houston, he won three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards.

Though he has been plagued by injuries in recent years, Watt started all 128 games in which he appeared in the past 10 years after entering the league as Houston’s first-round selection, 11th overall, in the 2011 draft out of Wisconsin.

He was the league’s top defensive player in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Then injuries began to slow him. He appeared in only three games in 2016 and five the next season, sidelined by back problems and then a broken leg. In 2019, Watt missed half of the schedule with a torn pectoral muscle.

He returned to play the entire 2020 season and was effective, though not dominant.

So the Cardinals likely are not getting a vintage Watt, the only player in NFL history with 20 or more sacks and 10 or more passes defended in a single season, doing it in both 2012 and 2014. He’s tied for fifth among defensive lineman in league history with six touchdowns in the regular season, including three TD catches. He has 101 career sacks, and over the past decade leads the league in tackles for losses (172), quarterback hits (281), multi-sack games (26) and sack yards (713 1-2).

Watt also spent so much of his off-field time giving back to the community, perhaps most notably when Hurricane Harvey devastated southeast Texas.

Watt wasted no time creating a fundraiser with a goal of raising $200,000, and he’d match the first $100,000. Eventually, his efforts brought in more than $41 million for the victims of Harvey. For this humanitarian work, he was selected as the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.