JJ Watt: NFL owner, who is also a pilot, jumps in to help secure free agent deal

After weeks of speculation, it was the Cardinals who won the hotly contested race to sign Watt on a two-year contract. would have valued at $ 31 million, Bidwell adding that personal touch to take the five-time Pro-Bowler to his new home in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“I’m very excited. My wife and I are very excited to be here,” Watt Told the team’s official Twitter account after landing.

“Mr. Bidwill, [general manager] Steve [Keim], everyone here has been amazing so far and I just can’t wait to get started. I’m very excited to start, get to work, get to know the people of Arizona and go to work, trying to help them win a championship. “

“The only thing I can promise is that I will work my ass everyday to make you proud.”

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From fans to internet detectors

Since announcing he would be leaving the Houston Texans earlier this year, the 31-year-old’s signing has generated a lot of interest. This frenzied speculation also turned fans into internet sleuths as they tried to connect the dots between Watt’s cryptic tweets and potential suitors. Simply watt tweeted: “Free agency is wild.”

Even on the day of his eventual signing, there were plenty of twists and turns for fans keen to discover Watt’s final destination.

After a journalist suggested that the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills were the finalists after finding his Peloton profile that included these teams in his profile, Watt taken to Twitter to debunk the rumor, saying he doesn’t even use the home fitness service.

Watt then posted a photo of himself lifting weights in an Arizona Cardinals t-shirt with the caption: “source: me”.

Shortly after, the Cardinals tweeted the watching eye emoji, before quickly confirming the news about 15 minutes later, claiming the team had signed Watt to a two-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team.

Hours later, Watt tweeted a pair of photos showing him and his wife and professional footballer Kealia Ohai Watt preparing to travel on the Cardinals jet with team owner Bidwell and the caption: “Quite handy when the owner is also a pilot. .. “

Watt had spent his entire 10-year NFL career as a member of the Texans, since being elected to the University of Wisconsin in the first round in 2011.

He has been named NFL Defensive Player of the Year three notable times, one of only three players to ever accomplish that feat. He has been named to the All-Pro First Team five times and selected for five Pro Bowls.

In 2017, Watt received the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, regarded in NFL circles as the league’s most prestigious honor, after raising more than $ 37 million for the relief of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

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Watt will reunite in the wilderness with former teammate DeAndre Hopkins, whose attempt to lure Watt to Arizona appears to have been successful. Hopkins, who moved from the Texans to the Cardinals last year, posted an edited photo of the two hugging each other with the caption: “Let’s finish what we started.”

Meanwhile, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray sharing a photo of him with Watt six years ago, while Murray was still in high school.

Dave Close contributed to this report.


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