As great as he's been on the field, he's at least matched that with his difference-making efforts in the Houston community, most notably following Hurricane Harvey in 2017 when he raised more than $41 million for flood relief.
As news broke about Watt asking for and receiving his release from the Texans, the reaction from around the sports world was generally of appreciation for what he meant to Houston, but also questioning what is going on with the franchise.
Here's a look at the reaction:
Salute to one of the Greatest of All Time @JJWatt I appreciate you for all the work you put in and more importantly the person you are. Any team in the league will be better the day you out on their jersey! 1OVE my brother! MORE Glory 🙏🏾— Deshaun Watson (@deshaunwatson) February 12, 2021
It's not every day you get to line up along side a Hall of Famer... I will always respect your work ethic and passion for the game brother!! Thank you for showing me a map of what it takes to be GREAT! Wishing you the best in your next chapter 🙏🏾😢 #ThankYouJJ https://t.co/ocnAI2X5Zv— Justin Reid (@JustinqReid) February 12, 2021
Funny story about JJ lol. It was my first week and some of the other vets were like Tytus chill out we don't have on pads yet😂 So I chill out and go to block JJ all lazy and got billed all the way into Deshaun. So I'm looking all dumb and embarrassed and turn around and look at— Tytus Howard (@levelstothis_2) February 12, 2021
I can't Thank you enough for the talks we've had the time you've taken to help me in the little things for my game all of it. Houston appreciates you bro and all you've done for the city. Continue to be you and a great leader for your next team, the HOF awaits love bro. @JJWatt pic.twitter.com/7CFTx5yWuu— Charles Omenihu (@charless_94) February 12, 2021
Absolute blessing being able to play alongside this guy.— Dylan Cole (@dylancole31) February 12, 2021
Great leader, great player, and great friend.
You told me that you have at least 5 years left, so don't go trying to get your gold jacket too soon.
May blessings and greatness continue to follow you. @JJWatt pic.twitter.com/YZSFNf23OK
Thanks @JJWatt for all you have done for Houston! We'll miss having you as a neighbor at @nrgpark &will miss seeing you dominate on the field as a Texan. Wishing you the absolute best! We loved having you as a 2012 parade grand marshal & we hope you & Kealia visit us next year!🤠 pic.twitter.com/GTcNvmUPqT— RODEOHOUSTON (@RODEOHOUSTON) February 12, 2021
Congrats @JJWatt on an amazing run in Houston. We're sure you'll continue to dominate no matter where you go.— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) February 12, 2021
But let's not forget that you still have 1 year of eligibility left here!#niceshirt #OnWisconsin https://t.co/TTdfc2MZfG
Good for you JJ Watt. You did all you could in Houston. The franchise's greatest defensive player and it's no discussion in that. You deserve to win, you deserve an organization that understands how that happens. Go get a ring Champ. It's bout dang time!— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) February 12, 2021
J.J. Watt's 10-year run with the Texans:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 12, 2021
* 3X NFL Defensive Player of the Year
* 5X 1st team All Pro, 5X Pro Bowler
* Walter Payton Man of the Year winner
* 101.0 sacks, 61(!!) passes defensed, 494 tackles, 25 FF
* 3 receiving TD
Arguably the best player in franchise history ✊
So ummm @JJWatt .... I need to talk to ya homie 😎— ROBERT MATHIS The1st (@RobertMathis98) February 12, 2021