Dec 27, 2022 - Sports

Defensive legend J.J. Watt announces NFL retirement

Defensive end J.J. Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up before the NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Defensive end J.J. Watt of the Arizona Cardinals. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

J.J. Watt, a three-time NFL defensive player of the year, announced Tuesday that this will be his final season in the NFL.

Why it matters: The announcement marks the end of a 12-season career for one of professional football's most decorated defensive players — one who dominated the the league throughout the 2010s.

Driving the news: "Koa's first ever NFL game. My last ever NFL home game," Watt tweeted with a picture of his son at the Sunday night game between the Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  • "My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude. It's been an absolute honor and a pleasure," he added.

Context: Watt had his apex seasons while playing with the Houston Texans from 2011 to 2020. He has spent the last two years with the Arizona Cardinals.

Worth noting: His pick-six against Andy Dalton in the 2011 playoffs is one of the Houston Texans' biggest playoff moments.

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