JJ Watt announced Tuesday that this will be his final NFL season.
Fans weren’t the only ones surprised by the announcement of the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive end – in fact, his own team was caught off guard.
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“I never thought it would come,” Cardinals head coach Cliff Kingsbury told reporters Wednesday.
Perhaps the Cardinals thought Watt wouldn’t cut his cleats, given he’s having his best season in years.
Watt’s 9.5 sacks this season is his most since 16 in 2018. He currently has his 111.5 in his career.
However, in a social media post, he said he played in “the last NFL home game.”
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“Happy for him. He looks like he’s in a really good place . . . What a great player and person and best ever in this league,” Kingsbury said. Seeing him play, hearing him play, I think it’s a special time for him, the organization and the NFL as a whole to celebrate him over the next two weeks.
Watt spent his first 10 seasons with the Houston Texans and was drafted 11th overall in 2011.
Arizona will close out the season with the final two games against the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers.
Watt would win another $1 million if he gets more half sacks in the final two games.
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A five-time All-Pro First Team selection, he led the NFL in sacks in 2012 and 2015 with 20.5 and 17.5 respectively. He also recorded his 20.5 sacks in 2014, earning his second Defensive Player of the Year Award (2012 and his 2015 as well), MVP voting.