Future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt told Fox News Digital last year that he wanted to retire from football while he still had something in the tank – he had 12.5 sacks in his final season.
However, calling it a career while you are still a solid starter could lead to wanting to come back, and Watt felt a bit of that during this past season.
Watt said on Wednesday’s “The Pat McAfee Show” that he was actually “monitoring” the situations for both his former Houston Texans and the Pittsburgh Steelers, for whom his brother, T.J., plays and their other brother, Derek, also played in 2022.
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“But it never escalated to any sort of actual potential,” Watt said.
Watt said it would have been a “dream” to suit up alongside his brothers, “but they were all set.”
Watt, though, said he would only have come back if it meant a probable Super Bowl run.
“If it was something where I could bring something that would help propel somebody to a potential Super Bowl, where you fill in a need and take them to a new level, absolutely,” Watt said of his thought process on coming back from retirement. “But just to do it would have been ridiculous.”
When speaking with Fox News in September, right before the season started, Watt said he did not miss football at all. But midway through the season, something hit him.
“When I went to Pittsburgh and visited T.J. and watched him get ready for the game, that was hands down the moment where I was like, ‘This is the first time I definitely miss playing,'” Watt said.
He admitted that if the Steelers had a bit of a hot streak midseason, conversations with the team may have gone differently. Instead, they squeaked into the playoffs and were a first-round exit.
So, Watt stayed home; and now, he is surely retired.
“I’m absolutely done. I’m 1,000% done. You can miss something and not want to do it again.”
His brother’s aches and pains the next day after his visit helped kick Watt back into reality.
“He woke up all sore, bruised up, had to go get treatment and everything. I popped up, went for a nice walk and had a coffee,” he said.
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Watt, a Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient, made five Pro Bowls and five All-Pro first-teams, had 114.5 sacks in his career and 195 tackles for loss. His 12.5 sacks in 2022 was the sixth time he went into double digits.
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