The Watt Brothers nearly all played for the Steelers in Pittsburgh in 2021. Derek Watt did sign with the team and Pittsburgh obviously drafted T.J. Watt, but J.J. Watt is the one holdout who never donned the Black and Gold. The Texans and Cardinals legend linked with the Cardinals during the 2021 free agency period.
However, appearing on the Green Light Podcast With Chris Long, Watt revealed that he was close to joining his brothers in Pittsburgh. The biggest pitstop was the impending contract that T.J. would sign soon following that. If J.J. joined the team, it could cut into the deal that T.J. would end up getting, and J.J. simply did not want to interfere with that contract situation.
“They were [on the list),” J.J. Watt said. “It certainly would have been awesome to play with my brothers, but T.J. was also going through the contract situation there, so the last thing I wanted to do was come in and take any money away from his contract.”
There has been speculation that Watt could come out of retirement to join the Steelers after he decided to hang up the cleats this offseason. Watt has thrown that speculation to the wayside and simply said that he is out for good. He recently announced that he would get into talk media, joining CBS for the upcoming season.
“I will not be playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers.” Watt said, pointing to his physical conditioning. “That’s the whole reason that I can tell you right now for a fact that I’m not coming back. For me to play this season, I would have to be training right now and my body, if I went out there to play right now, it would not perform. I haven’t run since the last game of the season. So like, I could not physically do it.”
The Steelers could have used him back in 2021 with all the questions surrounding Stephon Tuitt at that time. Regardless, his reasoning makes plenty of sense and Watt will head into the Hall of Fame once he is eligible to head into Canton.