Updated: Jan 4
After an illustrious 12-year career, Arizona Cardinals defensive end, J.J. Watt, announced he will retire from the NFL. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce his retirement decision at the end of the Cardinals' regular season.
In 14 games this season, Watt has recorded 33 tackles and 9.5 sacks which is pretty impressive for someone whose heart had to get shocked back in place in October. The former 11th overall pick in 2011 by the Houston Texans was one of the most dominant defensive forces that the NFL has ever seen. From 2011-2015, Watt finished the four-year stretch with 69 sacks en route to all three of his AP Defensive Player of the Year awards.
His three Defensive Player of the Year awards are tied for most in NFL history alongside other defensive stalwarts such as former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor and current Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Watt also was a seven-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection during his heyday as a defensive menace for the Texans.
Watt owns the Texans' franchise record for most career sacks with 101. As great of a player as Watt is on the field, he is an even better human off of it, from raising $37 million for Hurricane Harvey victims back in 2017 to other volunteer efforts.
Watt has left a lasting legacy in the NFL that will stand forever as one of the greatest defensive players of all time, and someone who was a great teammate and person on and off the field.