NFL Superstar and Class Act JJ Watt Addresses His Own Retirement Chatter


Two years ago J.J. Watt had two back surgeries and played in only three games. The following year he fractured his leg and played in only five games.

Those injuries and the grueling rehab process would make anyone ponder his future in regard to playing football.

Watt even admitted in 2016 that he considered retirement due to injuries.

Now, however, he has a different outlook for his career. Watt addressed his present and his future ahead of the team’s Week 11 game vs. the Redskins, and he indicated retirement isn’t in his thoughts.

“In the past, I’ve thought more about it than I have, obviously, ever,” he said, according to the Houston Chronicle‘s Brian T. Smith. “But, no, I’m enjoying it. I’m loving it. I’m loving playing, I’m loving the competition. I’m loving working every day. I love the guys, I love the team, I love the fans.

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“And it feels really good to be in a place where I can say all that stuff again, because I haven’t been able to for a couple years.”

Watt has already played in more games this year (nine) than he did in the last two seasons combined (eight).

He isn’t just suiting up and going out there for token appearances either; he has returned to his All-Pro form and currently ranks fourth in the NFL with nine sacks, all in the last seven games. Watt also leads the league with four forced fumbles.

J.J. and his younger brother T.J. are battling for family bragging rights as T.J. is right behind big brother with eight sacks for the Steelers.

The elder Watt admitted to hearing the trade talk during his rehab process but he also said he heard that same talk when he was healthy.

Why anyone would want to trade a three-time Defensive Player of the Year is beyond me, but Watt knows that the NFL is a business. He’s only focused on the current season and is not looking ahead to what may happen next.

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Do you think J.J. Watt will return to the Texans in 2019?

“It would be great, of course,” Watt said on finishing his career with Houston. “But there’s a business side of it — there’s plenty of different sides to it. I just want to finish out the year. I just want to play football for a full year.”

This year appears to be headed toward a postseason appearance for the Texans. They are leading the AFC South with a 6-3 record despite losing their first three games.

Watt is due $46 million over the next three years, but with his injury history and approaching 30, there’s no guarantee that the Texans want to keep him around for that long.

However, Watt is grateful to the organization and the city of Houston for everything they’ve done for him, and you can bet Houston is thankful for everything Watt has done for the city.

“This place — the city, the people, the franchise — I mean, they’ve been incredible to me,” he said. “Besides booing me on Day One, I think everything’s been all right. I couldn’t ask for better people to play for, a better fanbase. The connection that I feel and have with the city, I’m so thankful for. I never would have expected it. But I’m forever grateful for it and I’ll forever be grateful to these people for the way they’ve treated me here.”

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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