Inside the Article:
On December 27, 2022, J.J. Watt announced his retirement from professional football after a successful career spanned over a decade. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year was widely regarded as one of the best defensive players of his generation and leaves behind a legacy that will not be soon forgotten.
J.J Watt, A Decorated Career
Watt, who played defensive end for the Houston Texans, was drafted out of the University of Wisconsin in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. From the moment he stepped on the field, it was clear that he was a special player. He recorded 56 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles in his rookie season, earning him a spot on the NFL All-Rookie Team.
Over the next decade, Watt established himself as one of the dominant forces in the league. He was a first-team All-Pro selection five times and was named to the Pro Bowl in his first five seasons. In 2014, he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year after recording 20.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. He would win the award two more times, in 2015 and 2018.
J.J. Watt will retire as one of the greatest defensive linemen of all time:
- 3x DPOY (2012, 2014, 2015)
- 7x All-Pro
- 5x Pro Bowl
- 2017 WPMOY
JJ Watt has a long history of charitable work and is known for his dedication to giving back to the community. In 2010, he founded the Justin J. Watt Foundation, which works to provide after-school athletic programs to underprivileged youth in the Houston area.
In addition to his foundation, Watt has also participated in several charitable events and initiatives over the years. For example, in 2017, he raised over $37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Houston through a social media campaign. He has also donated his time and resources to many other causes, including supporting military families, providing resources for disadvantaged students, and raising awareness about pediatric cancer.
Watt's charitable efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2017, he was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award recognizing a player's community service efforts and playing ability. He has also been recognized by various organizations and publications for his charitable work, including being named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2016.
Challenges and Retirement
Despite all of his accomplishments, Watt's career was not without its challenges.
J Watt has suffered a number of injuries throughout his career, including:
- In 2012, he suffered an elbow injury that required surgery and caused him to miss the season's final three games.
- In 2013, he suffered a broken leg that required surgery and caused him to miss the rest of the season.
- In 2016, he suffered a back injury that required surgery and caused him to miss the entire season.
- In 2019, he suffered a torn pectoral muscle that ended his season.
Watt's injuries significantly impacted his career and his ability to play at a high level.
In 2022, after considering the toll his injuries had taken on his body and his long-term health, Watt decided it was time to hang up his cleats.
J.J. Watt's retirement marks the end of an era for the NFL. His impact on the league will be felt for years to come, and his legacy as one of the all-time greats will endure.