J.J. Watt of Houston Texans, T.J. Watt of Pittsburgh Steelers relish NFL sack race: ‘It’s pretty wild’

HOUSTON — Before the Houston Texans‘ game on Sunday night, defensive end J.J. Watt had the chance to watch his younger brother T.J., an outside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, deliver another impressive three-sack performance.

J.J. also knew that with those three sacks, T.J. had taken the lead in the family with six on the season and that he was tied with Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins for the NFL lead.

“I knew he had six sacks, so I knew I had to get at least one otherwise I couldn’t go back to my phone after that,” J.J. said. “Then, I missed the one, so I was really p—-d off.”

J.J.’s sack came late in the fourth quarter and ensured that there would be a tie atop the family and NFL sack leaderboard for at least one more week.

T.J. also had a three-sack performance in Week 1 against the Browns and J.J. had three sacks in Week 3 against the Giants.

According to T.J., the back-and-forth is just “healthy competition.” J.J. called he and his brother “each other’s biggest fans.”

“It’s also been competitive,” J.J. said. “It’s always been like that. This is just the first time in the league we’ve gotten a chance to both be healthy and do it the same time. But, no, we’re each other’s biggest fans. We each root for each other as much as we can, whenever we can. I want to see him get as many sacks as he can possibly get, just the same way he wants to see me. We compete and there’s definitely a little bit of underlying competition there, but at the end of the day, if he gets 500 sacks I’d be happy as hell.”

Still, the fact that the brothers share the lead is cool for his mom, Connie.

“I’m sure my mom thinks it’s a lot cooler than I do,” T.J. said. She’ll take a picture of it and our names will be next to each other and it will be cool for her.” J.J. said he’s always known what his brother is capable of, “and it’s fun for the rest of the league to be able to see it.”

“It’s pretty wild when you go and you look at the sack sheet and you see our names next to each other,” J.J. said. “We used to beat up on each other in backyard and now we get to see our names at the top of the NFL sack charts. So, it’s incredible and I’m lucky. I have two incredible brothers [T.J. and Chargers fullback Derek Watt] and I’m very fortunate.”

Added T.J.: “That’s something I’ll never take for granted is to be able to sit on the couch and watch them play. It’s pretty special.”

But although J.J. and T.J. may be tied for the lead in sacks, the older brother pointed out on Wednesday that he is ahead in another category.

“Today he got his second AFC Player of the Week or whatever, but, I mean, I got the Player of the Month last month,” J.J. said. “So, I think that’s a little cooler.”

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A year after Harvey, $37M raised by Texans’ J.J. Watt changing lives – Houston Texans Blog

HOUSTON — What started as a simple message turned into $37 million.

“I’m sitting here watching the news and checking the Internet and seeing everything that’s going on with Hurricane Harvey and the damage it’s causing back home,” Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt said in a video he posted to Instagram on Aug. 27, 2017, from his hotel room in Dallas. “It’s very difficult.

“That’s our city. It’s very tough to watch your city get hit by such a bad storm and not be there to help. Not be there to help with the recovery. Not be there to help with the process. It’s very tough.”

So he made a request.

“So what I do want to do is I want to start a fundraiser. Because I know that these recovery efforts are going to be massive. I know that there’s going to be a whole bunch of people that we need to help get back on their feet.

“Whatever you can donate, please donate to help these people out.”

Watt set up a page on, donating $100,000 of his own money and setting the goal at $200,000. He raised that in two hours.

For the next three weeks, the online fundraiser continued to grow. A year later, the money distributed by Watt to help the relief efforts has made a huge impact on the lives of those who received help.

“We go to some of the areas where we’ve rebuilt houses and we go and visit a house and I talked to one family, and I was looking at the houses around them that were still pretty beaten up,” Watt said. “They were like, ‘We haven’t seen those people since.’ A lot of people literally abandoned their house, whether they went somewhere else or — so, I think that while if you look at everyday life for most people, you may say, ‘Yeah, they’re in working, regular order,’ but I think there’s still a lot of people going through a lot of stuff.”

More than $30 million of the money was split up to benefit four organizations — Americares, Feeding America, SBP and Save the Children — and was designated to be spent over the next 18 to 24 months. Watt spoke with people who handled donations after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans to see what they did well and what mistakes they made and said he made it his mission “to ensure this money makes as large of an impact as possible” and that “the entirety of the funds would be utilized here in Houston and the surrounding areas for those who were affected most by Hurricane Harvey.”

‘Oh my gosh, this is J.J. Watt’

Watt arrived at Covenant House on a Tuesday in December, alone. As he got out of his truck and walked into the space used to house homeless youth, he was quickly spotted.

“It took [the youth] just a few seconds to go, ‘Oh my gosh, this is J.J. Watt that just walked in,'” Covenant House’s executive director Leslie Bourne said. “And they were overjoyed with him. He spent so much time individually in talking with a lot of the youth. He’s really just a genuine person, and that comes out very much when you first meet him.”

Covenant House, which is just one of the organizations funded by the money given by Americares as part of what was raised by Watt last year, is in its 36th year serving as a shelter and a comprehensive provider of services for homeless youth (ages 18-24) and their children.

Watt stayed for more than an hour, talking to the young adults, taking photos, and seeing the damage that had been done by Harvey. He stood by what had been a nursery, which had an exterior wall that had to be replaced because of storm damage. And he toured a wing of the Crisis Center that had been quickly repaired, in part because of the money he raised.

“It was just a big boost to the kids,” Bourne said. “Their lives already are filled with trauma, and then the ones that are here because they lost everything due to Harvey … it was just a big bonus and a big plus to their lives to have someone show up who genuinely cared about their stories and genuinely cared what they were going through.”

The money Watt raised has had a lasting effect on Houston and the surrounding areas affected by the storm, which was the deadliest hurricane to hit the United States since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Harvey flooded more than 300,000 structures and was directly responsible for at least 68 deaths.

Shelter from the storm

One of the people aided by the money donated to Covenant House through Americares is Eric, a then-19-year-old father of two living in Sugar Land, Texas, when the hurricane hit. As the water rose, Eric, his girlfriend and her kids, ages 1 and 2, had to be evacuated by the Coast Guard on a large military vehicle to a shelter at Fulshear High School, more than 20 miles from Sugar Land.

Eric and his family stayed in the shelter for two weeks. After that, they became nomads, paying for hotels or rooms wherever they could find somewhere to stay. It was at one of these stops that Eric was robbed. Without any money to pay for a hotel, he turned to Covenant House.

“Especially when you’re a young parent, having to relocate, find shelter … it’s a heavy weight on your shoulders to do that all by yourself,” Eric said. “They really accepted me and my family with open arms. I really can’t even thank them enough.

“They sheltered us from the storm. Not Hurricane Harvey the storm, but the storm of everyday life. When you don’t have anybody to depend on, I knew I could depend on them here.”

In part because of the funding raised by Watt, Eric had a safe place for his children.

“Without that I probably wouldn’t be here, and I feel like I’m making a step in a positive direction from that. I couldn’t thank him enough,” Eric said. “I can nurture them here. We can color, read books and everything. It’s a surreal feeling actually just being here, knowing that this is a place for my kids … to love on them.”

‘A place to call home’

John, 21, found his way to Covenant House immediately after Harvey struck. The morning after the storm first hit, he went to the nearest freeway to get as high up as he could. John had stayed at Covenant House before, and after losing everything during Harvey, he knew where he could turn for help.

“Covenant House has given me a place to call home and basically a family to call family,” John said. “Coming back to Covenant House, everything was better. We’re a family here, so basically having family around makes me feel like everything will get better.”

Along with housing, Covenant House offers services to help youth get back on their feet with education and career planning.

“[Covenant House made me] a better person,” John said. “It’s like Covenant House made me a [more] mature person than I was back then. I’m going to work, I’m focused at school. I want to become a pharmacy tech.

“At first I didn’t take life seriously, but Covenant House has prepared me to be out on my own and get my own place and keep my job.”

Covenant House kept its doors open during the storm, offering shelter to anyone who needed it. Immediately after Harvey hit, the shelter saw almost a 20 percent increase in homeless youth seeking assistance. The shelter serves an average of 90 young people every night on its Houston campus, located in the Montrose neighborhood, and has a strong street outreach program that has been directly impacted by the money Watt raised.

“There’s still homeless [people] out there,” Bourne said. “We see them on our street outreach program. I think we found 18 of them in July. As people are trying to get back in their homes or they’re still waiting on repair money for their homes, there’s still fallout a lot of times for that older youth that hasn’t transitioned out of the family. So we’re still prepared to take them in for the next year or so.

“Some people are starting to move into their homes, but it’s still not over. So we’re still expecting youth needing our services from the hurricane.”

Rebuilding homes and lives

At the end of November, Watt had the chance to see some of the work being done in person with the money that was raised. It was the first time he was able to get to a site after spending the previous month and a half recovering from surgery after he broke his leg during Houston’s Week 5 game.

“I went and saw a few of the homes that are being rebuilt by SBP after being completely gutted from floor to ceiling [and even the roof],” Watt wrote on Instagram. “The people and their stories were both heartbreaking and uplifting all at the same time. … Each of these families went through so much devastation and heartbreak, yet remain so positive and energetic, it was truly inspiring to spend time with them today.

“The work that SBP is doing in rebuilding these houses and helping to get people back in their homes is incredible, and thanks to your donations they will be building hundreds of homes over the next two years, each with a story like those great folks and each eager to get back into the comfort and safety of their own home.”

SBP was founded in 2006 by by Zack Rosenburg and Liz McCartney, who were living in Washington, D.C., at the time but volunteered at St. Bernard’s Parish in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. They started SBP six months after Katrina hit Louisiana. Since then, the organization has rebuilt more than 1,500 homes, and it opened an office in Houston in September 2017 to help people get back in their houses after Harvey.

The grant Watt provided SBP was for $8.5 million. According to Cli Roberts, the executive director of SBP Houston, each house costs about $35,000 to repair, so $3.5 million is going toward rebuilding the first 100 homes in 2018. The other $5 million has been granted to other organizations that are also rebuilding houses across areas impacted by Harvey.

“It was incredible to see what J.J. Watt did by raising all of that money,” Roberts said. “So many people believed in him and donated, and that was incredible for SBP to be a part of it and to be trusted with that money and be able to go out and rebuild homes. One of the biggest barriers to recovery is funding, so knowing that we have this funding through Year 1 was just really relieving, knowing that we can move over 100 families home this year.”

SBP relies on volunteers to help rebuild homes. Colby Williams joined SBP because he has been here before. In 2005, he was living with his mother on Mandeville Street in Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina hit. Their home was too short, so they had to evacuate to his grandparents’ house and use a sledgehammer to break into the attic, where he said they spent “hours on hours” waiting to be rescued.

“Ever since I was involved in the storm, I had gotten help from other people, and I just wanted to fill that role,” Williams said. “I’ve always felt the need to help other people. And to be that support, that pillar for them to lean on.”

Williams said he has always been a football fan and “a huge fan of J.J. Watt,” but after seeing the time and effort Watt put into raising the money for those affected by Harvey, “it meant a lot.”

“We were able to get new tools and we were able to fund a hundred homes because of the J.J. Watt funds,” Williams said. “And now we have a fully stocked warehouse.”

Much more to be done

Watt has been an important part of this Houston community since he was drafted No. 11 overall in 2011. His list of donations and charitable contributions is long and admirable, but there is no doubt — even with the Hall of Fame-level of success he has had on the field — that what he did in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey a year ago will be his legacy in Houston.

Despite all of the work that has been done to restore Houston, a drive around the city reveals that there’s much more to be done.

“I think J.J. put it the best when he said last year: ‘It’s not going to take like a month. It might take a year, it might take two years, it might take three years,'” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said.

Although rebuilding Houston will take more time, there are tangible improvements and impacted lives that show exactly what the money Watt raised has done — and will continue to do — for Houston.

“The city’s been extremely resilient,” Watt said. “People have done a lot of work to get back to working order, I guess, but I think there’s also tons more work to be done. I think that it’s been out of the headlines for a long time and there’s been not a lot of, obviously, attention on it for a long time, but I think there’s still so many people that need a lot of help.”

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Will J.J. Watt ever be the same? ‘I’m just focused on today’ – Houston Texans Blog

HOUSTON — As the regular season approaches, J.J. Watt knows there are questions about his health and return to the football field. There’s one he has been asked several times this offseason and during training camp.

Even if he can stay healthy, will the Houston Texans‘ three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year be able to play at the level he has in the past?

Though Watt has had plenty of time — “the last two years were not fun,” he said — to think about that while he’s spent the past 10 months working his way back from a broken leg, he said he hasn’t given much thought to the answer to that question because “it doesn’t help. It doesn’t do anything for me.”

“I’m just focused on today,” he said. “I’m focused on tomorrow. I know what expectations I have for myself but … any way I answer that question, I’m screwed. You want me to say, ‘Yeah, it’s going to be incredible,’ then you’re setting insane expectations. I say, ‘No, I think I’m going to suck,’ that doesn’t bode too well for myself either.

“There’s really no good way to answer that question. … Through all my injuries, that’s probably the biggest thing I’ve learned, is control what you can control. All I can control is today; workouts, practice, meetings, and then tomorrow I’ll be able to control that.”

Watt, who didn’t play in the preseason opener against the Chiefs, has been a full participant in practices during training camp (with the occasional planned day off) and says there’s “no doubt” he’ll be playing in the season opener at the Patriots on Sept. 9 (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

He has played in just eight games in the past two seasons because of injuries. He played three games in 2016 before aggravating an injury that required a second back surgery in less than three months. Then last season, just as the Texans’ star defensive end was starting to play more like the Watt of old, he broke his left leg in Week 5 against the Chiefs.

Those injury woes came after Watt put together a four-year stretch of dominance rivaling that of any defender in NFL history. From 2012 to ’15, he was named first-team All-Pro four times, a Pro Bowler four times and NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times and led the league in sacks twice. However, his last sack came on Sept. 18, 2016 — almost two years ago — and if the Texans are to be contenders again, they need their star causing havoc.

Including Watt, the Texans’ defense has several positions in which health is a question, especially along the front seven. If Watt, along with outside linebackers Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus, can come back and stay healthy this season, Houston could have one of the best front sevens in the NFL. Along with nose tackle D.J. Reader, who has been touted as highly underrated by his teammates, the Texans have a talented group that should be able to improve from the injury-riddled defense that struggled a year ago under then-defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel.

“I think I’m going to come out stronger because of it.”

Houston’s J.J. Watt on dealing with injuries the past two seasons

“We want to be the defense we know we can be, and I think that last year — anybody will tell you — it wasn’t what it should be,” Watt said. “We’re really excited about some of the additions we’ve made, Tyrann [Mathieu], getting Whitney [Mercilus] back from injury, getting myself back.

“But it’s all talk until you do it. It all comes down to the first game and making sure we do it.”

There’s also another question Watt has gotten since his second season-ending injury in two years.

“Have there been days in recovery during which you feel you’re ready to hang it up?” Watt was asked.

The 29-year-old acknowledged there have been times he has thought about whether he would even be able to come back from his latest injury.

“You’re sitting there on your couch and you’re like, ‘How the hell am I going to get back to where I need to be?'” Watt said. “You’re sitting there and you can’t even do a leg raise, you can’t even do anything and you’re like, ‘Is this possible?’ Then you just take it one day at a time, step by step.

“I’m happy where I’m at, being able to look back on it now, and I’m thankful for the moments that I went through, but I think I’m going to come out stronger because of it. It’s one of those things, people tell you, ‘You’re going to come out stronger on the other side of this injury. Minor setback for a major comeback.’ You hear all of these things and you’re like, ‘Are you sure?’ Then you get to the end and you’re like, ‘It is true.’ It sucks, but it is true and I’m happy with where I’m at.”

Now, Watt said he doesn’t really think about his broken leg any more when he’s out on the field.

Watt signed a six-year deal worth $100 million, with $30.88 million guaranteed in 2014 and is owed $15 million over each of the next two seasons, then $15.5 million in 2020 and $17 million in 2021. Though Watt has a big contract and the Texans must decide whether to commit money to Clowney, there’s no reason to believe Houston would be interested in parting ways with Watt, even if he were to get injured again.

And it’s because of what he’s been through — even before these trying past two years — that Watt knows the path he has to take is focusing on now and not looking ahead.

“It doesn’t help me at all to think about, ‘I wonder if in December I can have this many sacks.’ I mean, it doesn’t matter, because if I don’t take care of August, then I’m never going to get to December,” Watt said. “So it’s just one day at a time, one workout at a time, one practice at a time.

“That’s how I got to be what I was in the first place. I mean, you don’t get there by thinking ahead. Of course you have big dreams and you have big goals, but you accomplish those dreams and goals by working one day at a time.”

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Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt ‘starting fresh’ after suffering broken leg in October

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Shortly after Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt broke his leg in early October, he set a goal for himself: Start training camp healthy from Day 1.

On Thursday, he did just that, taking part in drills with “no restrictions” as the Texans began training camp at The Greenbrier.

“I think I’m starting in a really good place this year,” Watt said. “It feels like I’m starting a regular training camp. I feel like I’m starting fresh. When I started the rehab process, I wanted to earn a fresh start, earn a chance to go out there, start a training camp from Day 1 [and] go out there and play.

“And I think that clean slate has come, and I’ve got a chance to once again try and write my own story.”

Watt has played in only eight total games since winning the award for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back years in 2014 and 2015. Three games into the 2016 season, he re-injured his back and needed a second back surgery in less than three months. Watt was healthy for the start of the 2017 regular season, but as he was getting into form, he broke his leg in a Week 5 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I’m so fortunate to be out here,” Watt said Thursday. “I could look back at these last two years and say, ‘Man, those are two of the s—tiest years of my life.’ But I can also look back at them and see how much I’ve learned and how important it is for me to go back out on this field and play at the level I know I can play to show that I can overcome what I’ve been through.

“When you go through something like this, it’s a climb back to the top. And you want to climb that mountain. And I’ve had days when you take three steps forward, and then there are days when you take one step back. … I went through some very tough times. But where I’m at today because of all of those tough times is a great place. And I’m very happy, I’m very excited to be out here, and I feel really good.”

Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus tore his pectoral muscle in the same game that Watt broke his leg, and he was also ruled out for the rest of the season. The Texans hope this is the season that the trio of Watt, Mercilus and 2014 No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney can stay healthy for a full season.

Clowney played the first 16-game regular season of his career in 2017, but needed minor knee surgery in January.

Still, despite the fact that Clowney spent the majority of the Texans’ first practice working on the side instead of participating in team drills, Texans coach Bill O’Brien said he’s not concerned about the outside linebacker’s knee.

“Some guys are needing to just get back into a little bit better football shape right now, [and Clowney] comes under that category. But he’ll be ready to go pretty soon here,” O’Brien said. “I’m not concerned about him though. Because of his rehab, he wasn’t able to be in OTAs, so we’re trying to be intelligent about the way we bring him back.”

If the three defenders can stay healthy all season, Houston could once again have one of the best front sevens in the NFL.

“We have a lot of talent in a lot of places on this team,” Watt said. “We know what this defense is capable of when we’re playing at our highest level. Now it’s just a matter of making those things all come together at the same time.”

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QB Deshaun Watson, DE J.J. Watt of Houston Texans ‘cleared, ready to go’

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va — The Houston Texans will open training camp on Thursday morning with quarterback Deshaun Watson and defensive end J.J. Watt “cleared and ready to go,” according to general manager Brian Gaine.

Both players are coming off serious injuries that forced an early end to their seasons and time on injured reserve. Watt broke his leg in the Texans’ Week 5 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs; Watson tore the ACL in his right leg in an early November practice and had surgery shortly after. Throughout the Texans’ spring workouts, Watson and Watt both said they were optimistic they would be ready for the regular season.

“[Watson is] cleared and ready to go,” Gaine said. “We’ll be efficient, we’ll be smart [and] we’ll be productive at the same time. But he’s full-go, ready to go [and we’ve] just got to be smart.

“[Watt is] full-go, he’s ready to go, just like we talked about with Deshaun [Watson]. He is coming off of a major injury. … We’re going to get our work done. But at the same time, [there’s] that healthy balance between being smart and going and getting it.”

In seven games last season, Watson threw for 19 touchdowns and 1,699 yards with eight interceptions before tearing his ACL. At the time of his injury, Watson was tied for the NFL lead in passing touchdowns and was on pace to shatter the rookie record of 26 passing touchdowns in a season. Watson was able to participate in 7-on-7 team drills during OTAs but did not face a pass rush.

Watt primarily worked off to the side during the spring workouts, but said in April that his rehab was “going really well” as he works back from his leg injury. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has played in just eight games in the past two seasons due to injury. Prior to the back injury he suffered during the 2016 season, he had not missed a game in his NFL career.

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J.J. Watt of Houston Texans donates $10K to family of fallen firefighter

MADISON, Wis. — Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has donated $10,000 to help the family of a Wisconsin firefighter killed in an explosion.

A natural gas leak in downtown Sun Prairie led to an explosion Tuesday evening that claimed the life of Sun Prairie Fire Department Capt. Cory Barr. He leaves behind a wife and 3-year-old twin daughters.

Kate Cichy, a spokeswoman for GoFundMe, said in a news release Wednesday evening that Watt has donated $10,000 to the GoFundMe for Barr’s family. She added that the Sun Prairie community has already raised nearly $70,000 for the family.

Watt was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and played college football at Wisconsin. He has been selected to four NFL Pro Bowls.

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J.J. Wilcox flips on San Francisco 49ers, plans New York Jets deal

On the verge of signing with the San Francisco 49ers, free-agent safety J.J. Wilcox changed his mind and is expected to sign with the New York Jets, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday.

Wilcox’s reversal stunned the 49ers. He had agreed to terms on a one-year contract and was meeting with the 49ers’ defensive backs coach before practice, sources told Schefter. One source said Wilcox was stricken with “stage fright,” while another said the 27-year-old expressed a desire to play for Jets coach Todd Bowles.

Wilcox was expected to fly to New Jersey to sign with the Jets.

The Jets return both starters at safety, promising second-year players Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, but they see Wilcox as a player who can provide depth and play in three-safety packages. They also like his special-teams prowess.

Wilcox also could be insurance if Maye, who underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery in January, has a setback. Maye isn’t participating in OTA practices, but he’s expected to be ready for training camp. Backup safety Rontez Miles also has been dealing with an undisclosed injury.

The Jets had been looking for safety depth, as they recently hosted former New Orleans Saints first-round pick Kenny Vaccaro on a free-agent visit.

The Pittsburgh Steelers released Wilcox on April 30, days after selecting two safeties in the NFL draft.

Wilcox was acquired by the Steelers in a trade last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who had signed him as a free agent. In his only season in Pittsburgh, Wilcox appeared in 12 games (one start) and finished with 12 tackles, one interception and one pass defensed.

Wilcox struggled to break into the lineup behind veteran Mike Mitchell, who was released in March, and second-year safety Sean Davis. He also didn’t carve out a reliable role on special teams.

He spent his first four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, playing in 58 games (38 starts) and recording 214 tackles, five interceptions, 15 passes defensed and two forced fumbles.

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San Francisco 49ers to sign free agent safety J.J. Wilcox

Free agent safety J.J. Wilcox is signing a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers released Wilcox on April 30, days after selecting two safeties in the NFL draft.

Wilcox, 27, was acquired by the Steelers in a trade last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who had signed him as a free agent. In his only season in Pittsburgh, Wilcox appeared in 12 games (one start) and finished with 12 tackles, one interception and one pass defensed.

Wilcox struggled to break the lineup behind veteran Mike Mitchell, who was released in March, and second-year safety Sean Davis. He also didn’t carve out a reliable role on special teams.

He spent his first four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, playing in 58 games (38 starts) and recording 214 tackles, five interceptions, 15 passes defensed and two forced fumbles.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.

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J.J. Watt of Houston Texans gets honorary doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine

HOUSTON — Introducing Dr. Justin James Watt.

The Houston Texans defensive end now has a new title after he received an honorary doctorate from the Baylor College of Medicine on Tuesday.

J.J. Watt is putting his new degree to use right away by handing out prescriptions to his Texans teammates and coaches.

“He wrote me up a prescription this morning,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said. “He told me to take three chill pills a day and call him in the morning. I thought I’ve been more chilled out, but I guess he doesn’t think so.”

Watt diagnosed defensive end Christian Covington with “weirdness,” with a prescription that read, “No Marvel movies for two weeks. Stiff drink x 3 twice/week. 1 hair color change.”

Covington dyed his then-brown hair silver earlier in the year, which Watt has poked fun at in the past.

Watt also let Covington know that this prescription comes at a price.

“This isn’t Canada,” Watt wrote for the Vancouver native.

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J.J. Watt of Houston Texans will pay for funerals of Santa Fe High School shooting victims

HOUSTON — Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt will pay for the funerals of those killed in the shooting at Santa Fe High School, the team confirmed.

Ten people were killed Friday morning and 10 more wounded after a 17-year-old carrying a shotgun and revolver opened fire at the high school about 30 miles from downtown Houston.

According to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, nine of the victims were students. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the shooting “one of the most heinous attacks that we’ve ever seen in the history of Texas schools.”

According to police officials, the 17-year-old is in custody and has been charged with capital murder, and a second person has been detained.

Shortly after the shooting, Watt tweeted, “Absolutely horrific.”

Watt has been active in the surrounding community since he was drafted by Houston in 2011. Most notably, he started a fundraiser last August that raised more than $37 million for those affected by the flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

The Texans also released a statement.

“On behalf of the Texans organization, we are saddened by the tragic events at Sante Fe High School this morning and extend our thoughts and heartfelt condolences to the victims, their families and all those affected. We are grateful for the brave first responders, law enforcement officials and medical personnel. The Texans family will continue to pray for our neighbors.”

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