TEMPE, Arizona – Free agent pass rusher JJ Watt has agreed to a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, the team announced Monday.
Terms were not disclosed, but a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the deal is worth $ 31 million and includes a guaranteed $ 23 million.
Before the Cardinals announced the deal, Watt broke the news by sharing a photo on Twitter:
source: me. pic.twitter.com/1Y6okQBUy5
– JJ Watt (@JJWatt) March 1, 2021
Watt, 31, was released by the Houston Texans, who granted his request on February 12, ending his 10-year career with the franchise.
Four days later, Watt’s former Texans teammate and current Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins posted a Photoshopped photo of him and Watt in a Cardinals uniform on Instagram with the caption: “Let’s finish what we started. .. “
Watt will meet with Vance Joseph, the Cardinals defensive coordinator, who was the Texans’ defensive backs coach for Watt’s first three seasons in Houston.
In Arizona, Watt will be paired with fellow pass rusher Chandler Jones, who leads the NFL in sacks since he was selected in the first round in 2012 with 97. Second during that span is Watt with 95.5.
In 2020, Watt was ranked 15th out of 119 qualified pass-rushers in pass-run win rate, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He finished the season with five sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception that he returned for a touchdown. He has been plagued with injuries recently, having played 16 games in a season just twice since 2015.
After the Texans selected Watt with the No. 11 pick in 2011, he became the face of the franchise, winning three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards from 2012 to 2015. Watt is one of three players in win that award three times.
Watt, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and a five-time first-team All-Pro, was by far the most productive pass rusher in Texans history with 101 career sacks.
ESPN’s Sarah Barshop contributed to this report.