Former 5-Time Pro-Bowl Defensive Star Open To Texans Return, Under One Condition

J.J. Watt Career Highlights As Arizona Cardinals NFL Star Retires

Retired NFL pass rusher JJ Watt open to returning to Texans only if DeMeco Ryans 'absolutely needs it' | Fox News

Former Houston Texans and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt, is open to a return to the NFL if the Texans need him. Watt shared his sentiment on Saturday as he hosted an annual charity softball game in Houston.

Watt told reporters he would return to the Texans under one condition.

“I’m a very fortunate, lucky man, I have a beautiful wife, I have a beautiful son. I’ve had 12 great years in this league and I’m very thankful to have walked away healthy and playing great,” he told reporters. “I told DeMeco [Ryans] last year: ‘Don’t call unless you absolutely need it, but, if you ever do call, I’ll be there.’ And he knows not to call unless he absolutely needs it. This is the last year I’ll tell him that, because I’m not going to keep training [the way] I’ve been training.”

Watt is 35 years old and retired following the 2022 season. The Wisconsin native spent 12 years in the league, most notably with the Texans for 10 seasons. He put out one of the most remarkable careers that we have ever seen from a defensive end.

In 12 special seasons, Watt was named a five-time First-team All-Pro, two-time Second-team All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowler, two-time NFL sack leader, a member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, a member of the Houston Texans Ring of Honor, and had two seasons where he recorded 20+ sacks.

J.J. Watt

We don’t know how much is left in the tank, but apparently, it’s potentially enough to help this young, up-and-coming Texans team. Houston came out of now here in 2023. The team was heading into a season led by a rookie quarterback, C.J. Stroud, and a rookie head coach, DeMeco Ryans. They blew everyone’s prediction out of the water, winning the AFC South, recording a 10-7 record, and made it to the AFC Divisional Round, losing to the Baltimore Ravens. The expectations will be at an all-time high, and they will catch no one by surprise this upcoming season. Teams will have the Texans circled on their calendar, as they will be among the favorites to come out of the AFC.

Because of these current expectations, Watt realizes that his services may not be needed, although he will remain ready.

“He knows he ever truly does need it, I’ll be there for him,” Watt said. “But I don’t anticipate that happening, because they have a very good crew. I hope that everybody stays extremely healthy and they dominate and they don’t need any bodies, and I just get to watch and enjoy it from the couch.”

Houston has done plenty to add to their defensive prowess. The team added pass rushers Danielle Hunter and Denico Autry this offseason. They also have 2023 No. 3 overall pick Will Anderson, who won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

The Texans seem set, but it’s nice to know they have a good backup plan to fall on if worse comes to worse for Houston. Watt is an NFL analyst for CBS Sports currently.

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