J.J. Watt, defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals and one of the NFL’s best defensive players, on Tuesday announced plans to retire after the 2022 season.
In a post on social media, Watt marked Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the first attended by his son, Koa. He added that it would be his “last ever NFL home game.”
“My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude,” he wrote. “It’s been an absolute honor and a pleasure.”
The Cardinals have two games left in the season, both on the road. On Sunday, the team will face the Atlanta Falcons and on Jan. 8, they will play the San Francisco 49ers.
Watt, 33, was drafted by the Houston Texans in 2011 and played for the team for 10 years, according to ESPN. He was among the league’s best defensive players in the early 2010s and earned the title of AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times, The Associated Press reported.
In a social media post Tuesday, Houston Texans officials called Watt “one of the best to ever do it in H-Town.”
In 2021, Watts signed a two-year contract to play with the Cardinals as a free agent, according to CNN. In a social media post, team officials shared Watt’s announcement and added, “The pleasure was all ours.”
Earlier this year, Watt said he underwent treatment for atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that sometimes presents with heart palpitations, lightheadedness or extreme fatigue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Watt and his wife, soccer pro Kealia Watt, welcomed their son, Koa James, in October.
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