J.J. Watt has played one of the the most illustrious careers on the defensive side of the football that the NFL has ever seen, and in two games, that career will come to a close.
The Arizona Cardinals DE has announced his retirement via a social media post Tuesday morning.
The announcement likely stems from Watt’s recent atrial fibrillation diagnosis along with the conception of his first child with his wife.
Taken by the Texans in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Watt quickly achieved the status of one of the league’s most dominant players, racking up three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, five NFL first team All-Pro nominations, five Pro Bowls, and a nomination to the NFL’s ‘All-Decade’ team. Watt lead the league in sacks twice and finishes as the co-leader in forced fumbles in league history (if he stays at his current number).
Watt’s career was though plagued by seemingly endless injuries, which makes his accumulation of 574 tackles, 111.5 sacks, 69 pass deflections and 27 forced fumbles even that more impressive. Watt sprinkled in 2 interceptions as well as 6 touchdowns during his career.
Perhaps even more important than his work on the field and the inception of the Watt family legacy in the NFL, Watt will be known as a leader and role model off the field, especially to the Houston community where he spent countless hours of community service and donated millions, including a fund that sparked a $37 million dollar donation to victims to Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Watt’s final two games will be against the Falcons and 49ers.