J.J. Watt’s retirement has NFL community remembering his achievements

Dec 27, 2022, 10:18 AM
Arizona Cardinals DE J.J. Watt runs onto the field before a Christmas game against the Tampa Bay Bu...
Arizona Cardinals DE J.J. Watt runs onto the field before a Christmas game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Dec. 25, 2022, at State Farm Stadium. (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)
(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)

J.J. Watt’s NFL career will end after his 12th season concludes Jan. 8 with a visit to the San Francisco 49ers.

The Arizona Cardinals defensive end, who spent the first decade of his NFL career with the Houston Texans, announced Tuesday that the 2022 regular season would be his last.

With two games to go, he has 111.5 sacks, 580 tackles, 313 quarterback hits and 27 forced fumbles on his resume. The former college tight end at Central Michigan and walk-on at Wisconsin also has three receiving touchdowns as a pro.

The football world reacted to Watt’s social media announcement that said his son’s first game attended on Christmas would be the defensive end’s last NFL home game.

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt gave his big brother a salute on social media.

Media personalities who worked with Watt in the Cardinals’ building and those who admired his tape from afar also gave the defensive end a farewell.

While the 33-year-old Watt put together quite a stellar final season — he arguably had a case to be a Pro Bowler — a strong stretch from 2012-2015 put him in the Hall of Fame regardless of the injuries that plagued him in the following years.

Watt’s efforts off the field rivaled his production on it.

Former pro athletes like long-time MLB pitcher C.C. Sabathia, quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Emmanuel Acho gave Watt his respect.

Former Texans cornerback Charles James II thanked Watt for making his own life easier as well.

Also, there were tons of highlights in there:

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J.J. Watt’s retirement has NFL community remembering his achievements