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J.J. Watt Announces Retirement From the NFL After 12 Seasons



Steelers J.J. Watt

J.J. Watt, star defensive end for both the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals, will retire at the end of the 2022 NFL season, he revealed on Twitter Tuesday morning.

Watt, the brother of star Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt, appeared emotional at the end of the Cardinals’ loss on Christmas Day to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While his contract with the Cardinals runs out at the end of the 2022 season, most thought it would be a signal that Watt could head elsewhere.

Instead, it appears that Watt will call it a career. Throughout his career, Watt has suffered many injuries, but still has racked up 111.5 sacks in his career since entering the NFL in 2011. During that span, Watt has won three Defensive Player of the Year awards and is a five-time First-Team All-Pro selection. With that resume all put together, Watt is a future Hall of Famer.

“My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude,” Watt said. “It’s been an absolute honor and a pleasure.”

Watt suffered a heart issue earlier this season in October. He said he suffered what is called atrial fibrillation. According to the Cleveland Clinic, atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm that begins in the heart’s upper chambers that can end up being extremely rapid. Shortly thereafter, his heart was shocked back into rhythm.

J.J. Watt has been linked to the Steelers two years ago and speculation had already begun that he could come to Pittsburgh to play with his brothers, Derek and T.J. in 2023. Still, Watt will walk away from his career as decorated as most defensive players can get in a career.

Watt, 33, should see himself into Canton, likely on a first-ballot basis. He was selected to the 2010s All-Decade Team and has led the league in sacks two times in his NFL career.