Cardinals’ J.J. Watt plans retirement from NFL at end of season

Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt pauses on the practice field as he takes part in...
Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt pauses on the practice field as he takes part in drills at the NFL football team's practice facility Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)(Ross D. Franklin | AP)
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 9:07 AM MST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2022 at 10:25 AM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/AP) J.J. Watt is retiring from the NFL at the end of the current season, the Arizona Cardinals defensive end indicated on social media Tuesday.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, Watt’s message read,” 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 pleasure.”

Watt, 33, has played 12 seasons in the NFL since being drafted as the 11th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He played most of his career with the Houston Texans before signing a two-year contract with the Cardinals in March 2021. He has played some of his best football in Arizona over the past few weeks, with three sacks against the Broncos and two tackles for a loss on Christmas against the Buccaneers. His 9 1/2 sacks this season are his most since 2018.

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year suffered a health scare in October when he went into A-Fib and had to have his heart shocked back into rhythm. Watt was back on the field days later. Later that month, he and his wife Kealia welcomed their first child, naming the baby boy Koa.

In what’s now become his final home game, the Cards lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-6 on Christmas Day. With that loss, the team fell to 4-11 on the season with two games remaining. The Cardinals next head to the east coast to play the Atlanta Falcons on New Year’s Day. Then the team travels to the Bay for its final game of the season against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.