3-time Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt decides to retire after the season
The Arizona Cardinals suffered another disappointing loss on Sunday night in overtime against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After the game, star pass rusher J.J. Watt shocked everyone by announcing on Twitter that he will step into retirement after the 2022 campaign.
“Koa’s first ever NFL game. My last ever NFL home game. My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude. It’s been an absolute honor and a pleasure,” he tweeted along with a picture of him holding son Koa and standing next to wife Kealia at Sunday night’s game via ESPN.
Watt is in the final year of his two-year, $28 million deal with the Cardinals that he signed after spending his first 10 seasons with the Houston Texans.
The decision comes a few months after he experienced a health scare in late September when the rhythm of his own heart reset after experiencing atrial fibrillation. The birth of his first child occurred shortly after in October.
Watt is regarded as one of the league’s greatest pass rushers while being alongside Aaron Donald and Lawrence Taylor as the only players to win the Defensive Player of the Year award three times.
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He is also the only player in league history to record two 20-sack seasons. The five-time Pro Bowler has 28 games with at least two sacks, which is five more than anyone lease since the 2011 campaign.
Watt is currently 26th on the all-time sacks list, with 111.5 entering the final two weeks of the regular season.