American Football

Cardinals DE J.J. Watt announces that he is retiring after the 2022 season

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Cardinals DE J.J. Watt announces that he is retiring after the 2022 season
Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

“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,” Watt says via Twitter.

After this week’s home game, fans and media such as 12 News’ Cameron Cox noticed an emotional J.J. Watt coming off the field. There was good reason.

The 34-year old Arizona Cardinals defensive end took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to announce that he had played his last home game in the NFL:

Watt will close out his NFL career on the road: at the Atlanta Falcons in Week 17 and at the San Francisco 49ers in the 2022 regular-season finale on Jan. 1.

Watt has had one of his best seasons in recent years — having overcome a separated shoulder, as well as having his heart shocked back into rhythm in October — on his way to what will be a Hall of Fame-caliber career.

There were few other pass rushers in the NFL who were Watt’s equal at his peak, but it was his character and leadership that earned him the reputation as one of the most respected players in the NFL. Watt earned the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2017 when with the Texans, and has been a role model on and off the field of what a man should be like.

And now he heads off into fatherhood, and into Canton after two great years with the Cardinals.

Congratulations on your career, J.J., you have truly been an inspiration.

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