Cardinals’ JJ Watt announces his surprising RETIREMENT from the NFL after 12 seasons

Arizona Cardinals defensive end JJ Watt announced his retirement on Twitter Tuesday morning.

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year broke the news in a post with a photo of himself with his wife, soccer player Kealia Ohai, and their newborn son, Koa, following Monday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Arizona.

“Koa’s first NFL game,” Watt posted Tuesday. ‘My last NFL home game. My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude. It has been an absolute honor and a pleasure.

The 33-year-old’s withdrawal comes three months after he suffered from atrial fibrillation, which required his heart to get back into rhythm. Despite the issue, Watt still played in 14 games so far this season, while remaining one of the best defensive ends in the NFL.

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year broke the news in a post with a photo of himself with his wife, soccer player Kealia Ohai, and their newborn son, Koa, following Monday's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Arizona.

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year broke the news in a post with a photo of himself with his wife, soccer player Kealia Ohai, and their newborn son, Koa, following Monday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Arizona.

JJ Watt pictured with his wife, soccer player Kealia Ohai, and their newborn son, Koa.

JJ Watt pictured with his wife, soccer player Kealia Ohai, and their newborn son, Koa.

The Cardinals (4-11) have two more games left this season, both of which are on the road: Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons and their season finale against the San Francisco 49ers.

Although the team has struggled with injuries in 2022, Watt has played business as usual, recording 9.5 sacks in 14 games to recover a fumble and a forced fumble.

A five-time Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro, Watt is the only NFL player to record multiple 20-sack seasons, both during his decade with the Houston Texans. He has played the last two seasons with the Cardinals.

Watt also received the 2017 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for his well-known philanthropic efforts.

Watt’s charity, the Justin J. Watt Foundation, offers extracurricular activities in various communities, providing children with a safe place to participate in athletics. Most of the schools in the program are located in Texas, where he played for a decade, his native Wisconsin, as well as Alabama, Illinois and California.

Helped raise $37 million for victims of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area and offered to pay funeral costs for families of victims after mass shootings.

JJ Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals greets his wife and newborn baby before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at State Farm Stadium on Sunday in Glendale, Arizona

JJ Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals greets his wife and newborn baby before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at State Farm Stadium on Sunday in Glendale, Arizona

Watt revealed a heart problem in October, saying he had atrial fibrillation on September 29 and needed to get his heart beating again. He also revealed that he made the disclosure because the information was about to leak.

After an Oct. 2 victory over the Carolina Panthers, Watt said he felt betrayed that his private medical information was shared with the media.

“The only people who knew were my family and the people in the building,” Watt said.

‘Injuries, I don’t care. Filter wounds. That’s soccer. But this one was very emotional for me, so it was upsetting.

Despite the fear at heart, Watt still had three tackles and two key passes in that win over Carolina.

“It shows you what kind of person, competitor and human being he is,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said afterward. Is special. Obviously, we’re all worried when he wasn’t around for a couple of days driving that. I think he was definitely inspiring to all of us. He played at a really high level and continues to amaze what kind of person and player he is.’

Watt revealed a heart problem in October, saying he had atrial fibrillation on September 29 and needed to get his heart beating again.  He also revealed that he made the disclosure because the information was about to be leaked.

Watt revealed a heart problem in October, saying he had atrial fibrillation on September 29 and needed to get his heart beating again. He also revealed that he made the disclosure because the information was about to be leaked.

JJ Watt #99 of the Houston Texans fans show their support during a game against the Buffalo Bills at Reliant Stadium on November 4, 2012 in Houston

JJ Watt #99 of the Houston Texans fans show their support during a game against the Buffalo Bills at Reliant Stadium on November 4, 2012 in Houston

Texans fans hold up a JJ Watt #99 Houston Texans sign during pregame warmups before the Houston Texans play the Baltimore Ravens on October 21, 2012 in Houston

Texans fans hold up a JJ Watt #99 Houston Texans sign during pregame warmups before the Houston Texans play the Baltimore Ravens on October 21, 2012 in Houston

The media and fans expressed their disbelief on Twitter, not that a 33-year-old would retire from the NFL, but that he would do so after another impressive season.

“I emailed @greggrosenthal yesterday saying I thought he should have JJ Watt high on his free agent list because he was still playing so well,” ESPN’s Mina Kimes tweeted. “It’s always great when your last memory of seeing an elite player is thinking: Damn, he still has it.”

Super Bowl winning quarterback Kurt Warner agreed: ‘@JJWatt has been as dominant as anyone in the league for the last 2 weeks! He’s just ruined games for opposing offenses…it’s fun to watch at this stage of his career and after all the recent injuries!

Veteran Texas sportswriter John McClain called on Texans to honor Watt at his first opportunity.

“The Texans should put @JJWatt on their Ring of Honor in their first game next season, joining Bob McNair and Andre Johnson,” McClain tweeted, referring to team founder McNair and legendary former Texans catcher Johnson. . “Johnson and Watt are the greatest players in franchise history.”

Many others will remember Watt for his charitable efforts.

Five years ago, in the days after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, I went to Houston to witness @JJWatt’s fundraising efforts,’ ESPN’s Jeff Darlington tweeted. ‘He helped raise over $37 million, changing my perspective on the impact athletes can have. His legacy extends beyond the field.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses for a photo with JJ Watt, the Houston Texans' 11th overall pick, onstage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses for a photo with JJ Watt, the Houston Texans’ 11th overall pick, onstage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011.


Author: Surya Yadav

This is Surya Yadav years of experience in the field of journalism, Surya Yadav heads the editorial operations of the Elite News as the Executive Reporter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.