J.J. Watt Released By Texans ... Deshaun Watson Sends Love

8:12 AM PT -- Deshaun Watson -- the Texans QB who has also asked to be traded -- spoke out about Watt's departure ... praising him as a great player and a great dude.

"Salute to one of the Greatest of All Time," Watson said ... "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 [put] on their jersey! 1OVE my brother! MORE Glory."

Next up for Deshaun, trying to follow JJ outta Houston!

Just when you thought the dysfunction couldn't get any worse in Houston ...

J.J. Watt -- arguably the Texans' greatest player EVER -- has just been released by the team ... this after the 3-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year says he asked to be let go.

Watt made the shocking announcement Friday morning ... recording a video explaining the move.


"I have sat down with the McNair family and I have asked them for my release and we have mutually agreed to part ways at this time," Watt said.

Watt, who thanked Houston fans, teammates, coaches and ownership ... added, "I'm excited and looking forward to a new opportunity."

Watt was picked in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Texans, and he's absolutely shredded the league since.

Despite battling a myriad of injuries, Watt made 5 Pro Bowls and 5 All-Pro teams ... and recorded a staggering 101 sacks in 10 seasons.

Watt, though, has clearly grown tired of all the issues with the Texans.

The team has traded star player after star player ... and it now is in a massive beef with its MVP-caliber quarterback Deshaun Watson, who also has reportedly asked to be traded from the team this offseason.

It's unclear where Watt will land as a free agent now ... though joining up with his little brothers, T.J. Watt and Derek Watt, in Pittsburgh seems like a very possible outcome.

In fact, ESPN is reporting J.J. Watt has talked to his 2 brothers about joining them in Pittsburgh. The Steelers probably can't afford him, but it's been discussed among the Watt bros.

Texans Chair and CEO Cal McNair also issued a statement ... saying, "J.J.'s impact on not only our organization, but the entire Houston community, is unlike any player in our franchise's history."

"I told J.J. earlier this week that we will forever consider him a Texan."

Story developing ...

Originally Published -- 7:03 AM PT

Raiders' Darren Waller At Peace If Traded For Watson ... 'It Is A Business'


Darren Waller LOVES playing for the Raiders ... but the tight end says he'll be at peace if he's traded for Deshaun Watson this offseason -- acknowledging the NFL "is a business."

"Crazier things have happened," Waller tells TMZ Sports. "I enjoy being where I'm at with the Raiders and that time will come to an end whether it's 10 years from now or it's by Monday."

"So, I just try to enjoy being here as much as I can."

Waller's name has been kicked around recently in the wake of Watson-to-Las Vegas trade rumors ... and the rumblings have grown so loud, Darren says they've actually reached his ears.

Waller, though, tells us he's trying to not let it affect him ... explaining, "There's always stuff circling around, but I'm just happy to be where I'm at right now."

As for his quarterback, Derek Carr, who's also been rumored to be a part of a potential trade package with the Texans for Watson ... Waller stood up for the Las Vegas QB and said he wants the guy to stick around.

Darren explained, "I like what Derek brings to the game. His efficiency, his leadership and he can spin the ball pretty well too."

Waller added, "I understand how people may want Deshaun Watson because he's an exciting player and that's just undeniable but I definitely appreciate Derek and I'm grateful for the relationship with him and also his game and the way that he plays."

Waller says he believes Derek's doing a great job of blocking out the noise ... and he's hoping Jon Gruden and Co. keep things status quo heading into the 2021 season.

Warren Moon Lists Frontrunners For Deshaun Watson ... 49ers, Jets And Colts!!!


San Francisco, New York and Indianapolis get excited ... Warren Moon tells TMZ Sports he believes the 49ers, Jets and Colts are the frontrunners to land Deshaun Watson!!!

The Texans QB officially wants out of Houston ... according to multiple reports, the 25-year-old is done with the team after feuding with execs, and has demanded a trade.

It's unclear if the Texans will give into the request -- considering, you know, the QB is awesome -- but if they do, Moon says he believes the Jets, Colts and 49ers are the most likely trade partners.

As for why, Moon says with the Niners, Watson could be a big upgrade if the team moves on from Jimmy Garoppolo.

With the Colts -- Moon says replacing Philip Rivers with Watson is a no-brainer ... though he wonders if the Texans would be open to an inter-division trade.

As for the Jets, Moon tells us Watson would fit in great there ... given the New York media market and the promise of new head coach Robert Saleh.

(We know Brandon Marshall certainly agrees with that one!!!)


Moon says he's hopeful that once a trade is completed, Houston will learn from this and realize if it gets another star QB, it needs to build around him and make him the team's centerpiece right away.

"Hopefully the organization will get a hint from this that we've got to do a better job going forward," Moon says. "We've got to go out and look for another top-flight quarterback and we've got to build a team around that guy so we don't end up losing him the next time."

"So hopefully it's a lesson learned by the organization as they move forward."

Brandon Marshall NY Jets Are 'Perfect' For Deshaun Watson ... Urges QB To Force Trade


Brandon Marshall has the solution to all of Deshaun Watson's woes with the Texans -- telling TMZ Sports EVERYTHING can be resolved by forcing a trade to New York!!!

"The New York Jets are the perfect landing spot for Deshaun Watson," the ex-NFL star receiver says.

As for why ... Marshall -- who played two years of his NFL career with NYJ -- says it's simple, the team can offer him anything he wants.

"The salary cap, we got around $68, $69 million available," Marshall says. "Who do you want?!"

The 36-year-old -- STAR on HBO's "Inside the NFL" show and founder of House of Athlete -- says the Jets would be willing to buy any free agent, including former Bears star Allen Robinson, to make it all work out.

In fact, Marshall says NY brass would even give him some say on who the team should draft!!

"He's going to turn this thing around," Marshall says. "And, we've been waiting for someone like him to lead the way."

Of course, the Texans would have to be amenable to jettisoning Watson first ... but all indications are pointing toward Watson holding out if he isn't traded.

So, DW to NY?!

By the way, Marshall has some really cool stuff going on this offseason besides recruiting for the Jets.


With the cancellation of the NFL's annual combine (thanks, COVID), Brandon says he's holding his own showcase down in Florida to help athletes and teams alike prepare for the NFL draft.

Marshall says he's got a bunch of big-name guys slated to be there ... and he says the plan is to broadcast the whole thing live!

Dick Vermeil Slams Deshaun Watson Over Feud With Texans ... 'Change His Diapers!!!'


Dick Vermeil says Deshaun Watson is WAY out of line for feuding with the Texans ... the coaching legend tells TMZ Sports he thinks the Houston star is being a big baby for quarreling with the team's brass over hiring decisions.

"I think they change his diapers, OK?" Vermeil says of how the Texans should handle the situation going forward with Watson.

"Nowhere in his contract does it say that he's involved in making the decisions of who coaches or who leads the organization."

The 84-year-old Vermeil continued, "He's a great NFL football player and always has been a great kid, but I think he just shuts his mouth and becomes a better football player and lead the football team and let the leaders of the organization lead him."

You'll recall ... Watson has reportedly had big beef with the Texans for the past few days -- with several outlets claiming the 25-year-old is upset over his lack of input in the hiring of new GM Nick Caserio.

Watson is also reportedly angry that he hasn't had much say in who the team is interviewing for its vacant head coaching role -- and the relationship has gotten so icy, some have predicted a trade could eventually go down.

Vermeil, though, thinks Watson will eventually stand down from strong-arming Texans' execs ... telling us, "I just don't see him playing any place else."

"And, I see him calming down and maturing a little bit and go be a good football player and earn the money they're paying him."

Of course, several prominent former Texans, including Andre Johnson, disagree ... with the ex-wideout saying earlier this week he believes Watson should stand his ground in the clash with the team.

By the way, if you're wondering what Vermeil has been up to since he stepped away from coaching ... the former Super Bowl champ tells us he's got a wine biz that's thriving in the pandemic.


Andre Johnson Rips 'Pathetic' Texans ... Amid Deshaun Watson Drama

4:24 PM PT -- Ex-Texans star Arian Foster is getting in on the conversation ... saying even though he hasn't been following the news, he KNOWS things really must be bad within the org. if Johnson is speaking out about it.

"i don’t keep up with much in the league so idk who buddy is. but i kno my brother," Foster said on Twitter Tuesday.

"and for him to get this outta pocket means there’s gotta be f***ery lol. dre is the calmest cat on the planet."

Houston, the Texans have a SERIOUS problem ... team legend Andre Johnson is now ripping the org. -- calling the franchise "pathetic" amid all of the drama with star QB Deshaun Watson.

The retired Houston wideout -- who's the only member of the organization's Ring of Honor -- sounded off on the Texans in a tweet Tuesday ... telling Watson to not back down from his demands from ownership.

"If I’m @deshaunwatson I will stand my ground," Johnson said. "The Texans organization is known for wasting players careers."

Johnson then went on to slam Jack Easterby, the team's executive vice president of football operations who's been with the Texans since 2019.

"Since Jack Easterby has walk into the building nothing good has happened in/for the organization and for some reason someone can’t seem to see what’s going on. Pathetic!!!"

If you missed it, Watson is reportedly VERY upset with the Texans' brass over his lack of say in the team's hiring process of its new GM and head coach this offseason.

In fact, the relationship has reportedly gotten so icy ... some have wondered if it could lead to a trade demand from Houston's brightest star.

Seems Johnson would be OK with it all if it got to that point ... clearly siding with Watson in the dispute.

And, that ain't all of the issues for Houston, 'cause former Texans superstar Deandre Hopkins also weighed in on the saga on social media Tuesday -- saying people should take Johnson seriously!!

"When Dre speak listen," Hopkins said.

Unclear exactly what Watson and co. truly need to see from Texans ownership to smooth things out ... but what is very apparent is something needs fixing in Houston ASAP.

Originally published -- 2:37 PM PT

Warren Moon Deshaun Watson Doesn't Want Out Of Houston ... Just Make Changes!!!


Warren Moon says Deshaun Watson does NOT want out of Houston yet ... telling TMZ Sports he believes the Texans QB simply wants to see some significant changes in the org.

"He literally loves playing in Houston," the Hall of Fame quarterback tells us. "He loves the city. He's involved in it a lot. But he definitely wants to win."

Watson, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, is "extremely unhappy" with the Texans heading into this offseason ... reportedly upset over his lack of input so far in the hiring process of the team's new GM and head coach.

Now, many believe that could lead to a trade ... but when we spoke with Moon -- a close friend of Deshaun's -- the 64-year-old told us he's not expecting the QB to be dealt with anytime soon.

In fact, Moon tells us he's pretty confident 25-year-old Watson will still be under center in Houston in 2021.

"If they really sit down and listen to this guy, and listen to what his feelings are, they'll give him a lot of input into who that next head coach is going to be," Moon says.

"And if that happens, I think he'll be happy there."

The problem? Moon believes if Houston doesn't do that ... a trade request from Watson could then follow.

"This is a guy that comes from a Clemson program where he won a national championship, he lost another one in the championship, so he's used to winning football," Moon says, "and it just hasn't been that way for his team this past year and he sees them going in a downward slide."

If the Texans aren't able to keep Watson happy ... Moon says he believes a bunch of teams could be suitors for his services.

But, Moon's most surprising prediction for where Watson could end up? Watch the clip ... the ex-QB thinks an NFC East team would LOVE to add him.

Deshaun Watson All Smiles With Bikini-Clad GF ... Amid Texans Drama

Does this look like a guy who's pissed with his team?!?

Here's Houston Texans superstar QB Deshaun Watson enjoying a romantic getaway with his beautiful GF Jilly Anais ... and the dude is smiling from ear-to-ear!!

The love birds are picking up right where they left off after the QB surprised her with a lavish party for her 25th birthday earlier this week ... getting some much-needed R&R somewhere in paradise.

@jillyanais / Instagram

A shirtless Watson and bikini-clad Jilly posed for a quick snap while getting some rays on board a boat on Friday ... and yeah, we're jealous.

Of course, there is talk Watson -- who just signed a 4-year, $160 MILLION deal back in September -- is upset with the team for not including him in their search for a new general manager ... and there's speculation he could ask for a trade this off-season.

In fact, Watson went as far as to subtweet the hell outta his team earlier this week ... saying, "Some things never change...."

The Texans went ahead and hired ex-Patriots exec. Nick Caserio to take on the role earlier this week ... and CEO Cal McNair says he hopes to speak with his star QB once he gets back from vacation.

From the looks of it, that may be a while, Cal .. dude might book a few more days at the resort!!

Deshaun Watson, Teammates Appear To Break NFL's COVID Policy At QB's Restaurant Launch

Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans may be in some hot water with the NFL ... after the QB and 7 of his teammates showed up at the launch of his new restaurant this week.

The 25-year-old superstar was joined by teammates Laremy Tunsil, Duke Johnson, Tytus Howard, Roderick Johnson, Brandin Cooks and Charles Omenihu at the debut of his Lefty's cheesecake franchise in Houston on Tuesday.

Of course, the NFL has a strict COVID-19 policy against 3 or more players congregating outside team sanctioned events or traveling to games ... in hopes of preventing a potential spread.

Do the math -- that's more than 3 players.

Watson was asked whether he followed COVID-19 protocols during the big event ... and he said, "Yes, for sure. I mean, we had the masks."

But, by peeping the pics above, that's doesn't seem to be the case.

Watson continued ... "We did everything that we were supposed to do. 6 feet from different people. It was a restaurant opening. It wasn't really an event. It was a grand opening of my restaurant."

"So, people were coming in to get food and things like that and everyone was excited about it. So, it turned out pretty good, and right now from the messages I got from after, it's still popping."

It could become a big issue for the Texans -- the Raiders were hit with fines after Derek Carr and others failed to follow COVID protocol at Darren Waller's charity event earlier this season.

The NFL has said it's aware of the situation with Watson and the Texans -- but so far, no official comment.

Story developing ...

Houston Texans Team Facility Shut Down After Positive COVID Test

Another day, another COVID scare in the NFL ... this time, it's the Houston Texans closing its team facility after a player has tested positive.

"We were informed last night that a Texans player has tested positive for COVID-19," the team said in a statement on Thursday morning.

"In consultation with the NFL and medical experts, we have made the decision to close the facility and conduct all operations virtually today."

The player has NOT been identified by the team -- there are reports it's a linebacker.

The noted the player in question "immediately self-isolated and contact tracing has begun."

"We will follow the NFL’s intensive protocols and guidance regarding the team’s operations. The health and safety of our team, as well as our entire staff, are of highest priority."

The Texans are slated to play the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend. So far, that game is still scheduled to be played as planned.

COVID has been busy with the NFL this week -- with the 49ers shutting their team facility earlier this week. Plus, the Denver Broncos announced team exec John Elway has also tested positive.

Houston Texans Player Tests Positive for COVID ... Facility Shut Down

The Houston Texans are shutting down their team facility ... after one of their players tested positive for COVID-19.

"Late last night, we received notice that a Texans player tested positive for COVID-19," the Texans said in a statement.

The infected player is reportedly backup guard Max Scharping, according to the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson. The 24-year-old 2nd round draft pick has been placed on the reserve-COVID list.

The team says they've totally shut down their practice facility ... and have already started contact tracing to make sure no other players were exposed to the virus.

"In accordance with NFL protocols, the player immediately self-isolated and our Infection Control Officer and other members of the Infection Response Team began working with the NFL to perform contact tracing."

"Our facility will be closed today to players for deep cleaning."

Luckily for the Texans, the team is on their bye week ... so assuming there isn't a significant breakout, their November 8 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars likely won't be impacted.

"We are in close consultation with the NFL, as well as our team of independent doctors and specialists, and will follow their guidance regarding our scheduled bye week operations."

"The health and safety of our team, as well as our entire staff, are of highest priority."

The Texans aren't the only team to have a player contract the virus ... the New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs are a few of the squads who have been hit.

Tom Brady Shades Texans Over Bill O'Brien Firing 'Doesn't Make A Lot Of Sense'

"To lose a coach 4 games into the season doesn’t make a lot of sense to me."

That's Tom Brady going to bat for his old pal, Bill O'Brien, after the Houston Texans fired the guy just 4 weeks into the NFL season -- and it's clear TB12 thinks Bill got a raw deal.

"That was really tough to see. I’ve known Billy for a long time and I think he’s a hell of a coach," Brady told Jim Gray on his Westwood One Sports radio show.

FYI, Tom and Bill worked together for 5 years in New England from 2007 to 2011. O'Brien left to take over the football program at Penn State before accepting the head coaching job with the Texans in 2014.

"I think he does a great job," Brady said of O'Brien.

"Four weeks ago, everyone was so hopeful about what the season could become. You hate to see things transpire as they do and to lose a coach 4 games into the season doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. It’s always tough when you see that happen, especially 4 games into the year."

Brady also said he believes O'Brien was well-liked by his players, despite some reports to the contrary.

"Those guys really seemed to love playing for him."

"I think he has great leadership ability," Brady said. "It’s a very difficult part of the profession and I thought he did a great job in Houston over the years."

Of course, a helluva lot of people in Houston would disagree ... O'Brien (who was also the GM) traded away superstars like DeAndre Hopkins and Jadeveon Clowney -- without much to show for it.

The 50-year-old also traded away a bunch of the team's premium draft picks ... leaving the squad without 1st and 2nd round picks in the 2021 draft.

Rudy Giuliani Rips 'Disrespectful' Houston Texans ... 'Stay In Locker Room Forever'


Rudy Giuliani is FURIOUS at the Houston Texans for staying in their locker room for the national anthem before Thursday's game ... saying, "Maybe they should stay in the locker room forever."

"Maybe that's where they belong."

The former NYC mayor was at the 9/11 Memorial on the 19th anniversary of 9/11 when we asked him about the drama before the NFL season opener ... and Rudy didn't hold back.

Courtesy Of NFL

"I think [the Houston Texans] should kiss the ground of the stadium that they're in America. Where the hell would they make that kinda money?!"

Rudy claims roughly "a third" of the players are from another country -- and should "thank God they're in America. Nobody else in this world has an immigration problem but America so people should stop doing hateful things about America."

Rudy says if players want to go down on a knee, "they should kiss the ground and say 'Thank you God that we're in the United States of America' because there's no place else we'd make this kinda money for playing a game."

Guiliani also said the players should have more humility -- because they're not the "real heroes" in this country.

"The real heroes aren't them. The real heroes are the men and women who ran into that building to save people."

Rudy also went after the Black Lives Matter movement -- saying it "hates police."

"They hate police and they call for the killing for the kinds of people who ran into this building and save them."

He concluded with the age-old "love it or leave it" battle cry.

"If [the Houston Texans] can't put their hand on their heart when the flag goes by, maybe you should live somewhere else."

Of course, pro athletes for years have said the kneeling demonstration is not meant to be a shot at the flag or the military ... but rather to put a spotlight on social injustice and police brutality.

NFL's James Jones Rips Fans For 'Unity Moment' Booing ... 'Disgusting'

"It's really disrespectful and it's disgusting just to see that and hear that go on."

Former Super Bowl champ James Jones was so shocked to hear booing during the Chiefs-Texans' pregame "moment of unity" ... he went OFF on the fans after the game.

"If you're going to boo, don't even come to the game," Jones said on NFL Network's post-game show. "Don't boo and then act like that, and then cheer us to score touchdowns when the game comes."

If you missed it ... players, coaches and personnel from both the Chiefs and Texans locked arms before their NFL season-opening game Thursday night.

The moment was powerful ... star QBs Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson were front and center, arm-in-arm -- and the demonstration was all to show a united effort against racism.

But, stadium microphones picked up A LOT of booing during the moment from the nearly 16,000 fans in attendance and at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City -- and it really pissed Jones off.

"It's bigger than touchdowns," Jones said. "It's bigger than Super Bowls. It's bigger than all of that. I have two young kids and it hurts that somebody out there hates them because of the color of their skin. And, that is what we're trying to end. We're trying to end racism."

Houston star J.J. Watt said after the game the booing bothered him as well ... calling the reaction "unfortunate."

"I don’t fully understand that," Watt said. "There was no flag involved. There was nothing involved with that besides two teams coming together to show unity."

The mayor of Kansas City, Quinton Lucas, said he heard the boos too ... but claimed those were nothing more than a few bad apples in an otherwise great city.

"We're a good city of good people," Lucas said. "I heard boos too. But we also have hundreds of thousands more around here who respect the message the players are sharing; who respect the rights of our players and people to voice a strong message and who are working to make us better each day."

Deshaun Watson QB's Computer Donation to Houston Kids ... for Distance Learning

Distance learning sucks if you don't have a dope computer to stay connected in school ... and Deshaun Watson knows it.

That's why the Houston Texans star QB teamed up with Reliant Energy to hand out $175,000 in tech Wednesday to students who need it!

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Most Houston area schools have opted to begin the school year virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic ... creating tough situations for some families in dire financial straits.

Watson and Reliant decided to help out by working with the Comp-U-Dopt organization -- which specializes in "providing technology access and education to underserved youth."

Comp-U-Dopt says the $175k donation from Watson and Reliant will allow 500 STUDENTS to receive computers, which they can keep. How great is that!?

"Reliant will also fund afterschool student programming with Comp-U-Dopt for the next three years," the org says.

Watson didn't just cut a check -- he personally went down to the giveaway point in Houston and helped deliver the equipment to the families who needed it.

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The 24-year-old baller is big in the community in Houston.

This March, he helped feed hospitality workers who lost their jobs due to COVID19. He also donated his first NFL check to help Hurricane Harvey victims back in 2017.

NFL's Kenny Stills Arrested During Louisville Protest ... Mug Shot In Breonna Taylor Shirt

10:58 AM PT -- Stills just released another statement on the matter ... calling the whole ordeal "good trouble" and writing, "Arrested for peacefully protesting. While Breonnas Taylor’s murderers are still out on the street."

9:42 AM PT -- Stills' agent just issued a statement on the receiver's arrest ... and it's pretty powerful.

"Kenny Stills: - stood on a lawn - asked for justice - got arrested," Ryan Williams said. "Cops that killed Breonna Taylor: - kicked in her door - killed her - didn't get arrested."

"@KSTiLLS has officially spent more time in jail fighting for justice than the known killers who killed Breonna Taylor."

9:26 AM PT -- Stills has been released, jail records show ... and it didn't take long for him to continue to fight for justice for Breonna Taylor.

The NFL player immediately took to social media to post a pic of him in a Taylor shirt and mask ... captioning it, "#ARRESTTHECOPSWHOKILLEDBREONNATAYLOR."

Houston Texans star Kenny Stills was one of nearly 100 people arrested during a protest in Louisville on Tuesday ... and the WR took his mug shot in a Breonna Taylor shirt.

The 28-year-old NFL player joined 86 others in a massive protest outside the home of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to seek justice for Taylor.

As part of the demonstration, the group of people -- which included "Real Housewives Of Atlanta" star Porsha Williams -- sat on Cameron's lawn and chanted ... urging him to levy charges against the cops involved in Taylor's tragic death.

A Lousiville Metro Police Dept. spokesperson says officers eventually told the group to leave ... but when they refused, all 87 were put in cuffs and hauled off to jail.

We're told Stills and the others were booked on 3 charges, including felony "intimidating a participant in a legal process."

As you can see in his mug shot, Stills was clearly NOT happy to be at the station ... and his shirt read, "Breonna Taylors Killers Are Still Police."

The LMPD spokesperson added of the incident, "The protestors chose to occupy the front yard of a home owned by the Kentucky Attorney General and continuously chant towards he and his neighbors."

"At his request, they were trespassed from the property. All were given the opportunity to leave, were told that remaining on the property would be unlawful, and chose not to leave."

Stills has consistently been one of the most vocal NFL players over the years when it comes to the search for social justice ... he's taken knees during the national anthem and has even tatted "Black Lives Matter" on his leg.

According to jail records, Stills was still in custody as of Wednesday morning.

Originally Published -- 6:40 AM PT

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