PHOENIX — Five-time All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt, a Wisconsin-native and former University of Wisconsin star, has announced his retirement after 12 years in the NFL. The 33-year-old closed out a phenomenal career with a huge performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Christmas in front of his wife and their newborn child.
Watt announced his retirement in a tweet on the morning of Dec. 27, 2022:
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Watt, who was born in Pewaukee, began his collegiate career playing tight end at Central Michigan before moving to defensive end at the University of Wisconsin in 2009. In two seasons as a Badger, Watt had 36.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks, making him the 11th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft to the Houston Texans.
Three times in his career, Watt was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014 & 2015). He tallied 20.5 sacks in two separate seasons, putting him just short of the NFL record of 22.5 set by Michael Strahan and then tied by his brother, T.J. Watt, in 2021.
Off the field, J.J. is known for his widespread philanthropy and community service, earning him the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2017.
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