Quarterbacks everywhere can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt appears to be calling it a career at the end of this season.
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year took to social media on Tuesday and said that Sunday night was his last home game in the NFL.
“Koa’s first ever NFL game. My last ever NFL home game,” Watt wrote in his post that featured a picture with his wife, his daughter and his parents. “My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude. It’s been an absolute honor and a pleasure.”
Watt has 9.5 sacks in the 2022 season, his highest since 2018. The 33-year-old played 10 of his 12 seasons with the Houston Texans. The five-time All-Pro led the NFL in sacks in 2012 and 2015 and surpassed 20 sacks twice in his career.
The former Wisconsin star was selected by the Texans with the 11th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. While his stats from 2012-2015 jump off the page — when he was named All-Pro four seasons running — the pass rusher’s career went off course due to injuries. Watt played just eight total games between 2016 and 2017. He also missed half of the 2019 campaign.
Despite the injuries, Watt is the Texans’ franchise leader in sacks (101), quarterback hits (281), tackles for a loss (172) and forced fumbles (25).
Watt ultimately left the Texans after the 2020 season to join the Cardinals as a free agent for the last two seasons of his career. The franchise favorite cited losing and rebuilding as the main reason why he left Houston in October 2021.
Watt is coming off two strong performances down the stretch — perhaps with some added motivation knowing that his career is coming to a close. He recorded a season-high three sacks in Arizona’s Week 15 loss to the Broncos and then had two tackles for a loss and two QB hits in the Christmas Day OT loss to the Bucs.
The pass-rushing superstar has just two games remaining in his career NFL schedule as the last-place Cardinals take on Falcons and 49ers to close out their season.