Steelers’ T.J. Watt Goes Viral With Cryptic Tweet After NFL Award Snub

Linebacker T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers already plays with an edge. Next season, he could have a really big chip on his shoulder.

TJ Watt

That possibility appeared to present itself when Watt posted a cryptic tweet during the NFL Honors on February 8.

“Nothing I’m not used to,” Watt wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

The tweet received more than 3 million views nearly 12 hours after Watt posted it.

The NFL had yet to announce the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award when Watt posted his tweet. But Twitter users read the tweet as Watt feeling slighted for finishing second in the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award voting.

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett won the award.

Watt has now finished second for the Defensive Player of the Year award twice. He also won the award in 2021.

Steelers’ T.J. Watt Finishes 2nd to Myles Garrett for Defensive Player of the Year

Fans and the media have debated between Watt and Garrett for the Defensive Player of the Year award for most of the season. The debate will very likely continue even after Garrett’s win.

As expected, the voting between Garrett and Watt for the NFL honor was close. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Garrett received 165 voting points while Watt had 140. Furthermore, Garrett received 23 first-place votes, and Watt had 19.

In the 12 hours after the NFL Honors, the Watt versus Garrett debate mostly fell by team lines. Steelers fans were in Watt’s corner, and Browns fans defended Garrett’s win.

Notable members of Steelers media such as The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly and DK Pittsburgh Sports’ Dejan Kovacevic criticized the voters for not choosing Watt as Defensive Player of the Year.

Statistically, it’s hard to disagree. Watt was superior to Garrett in every major traditional category during the 2023 season.

But Garrett performed better in analytical statistics. Pro Football Focus ranked Garrett the NFL’s top defender during 2023 with a player grade of 93.6. Watt finished sixth with a 91.9 grade.

Cameron Heyward Wins the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

While Steelers fans were mostly outraged over Watt’s snub, the team did see one of its players win an award on February 8.

Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

The NFL recognizes the award as the highest honor. The award is given to a player for his outstanding community service off the field as well as his outstanding play on it.

The Steelers defensive lineman started The Heyward House in 2015. The foundation fights childhood hunger, supports students and teachers, aides childhood literacy and battles cancer.

Heyward has also been involved with starting other foundations that help people with brain tumors and underprivileged communities with clothes, libraries and meals.

Every team nominates one player to contend for the award. Then at the yearly NFL Honors ceremony, the league announces the final three candidates.

Heyward has been nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award six times. He is the first Steelers player to win the award since Jerome Bettis in 2001.

Heyward is also the fifth Steelers player to win the honor. The previous four, along with Bettis (Franco Harris, Joe Green and Lynn Swann being the others), are all in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“[Walter Payton’s] done so much on and off the field, and he’s changed so many lives, that now I have the opportunity to be part of such a great fraternity in the Walter Payton finalists and winners,” Heyward said in his acceptance speech, via “I know I can carry this on and take the rock.

“I can’t run as fast as Walter, and I won’t try, but I’ll make sure I do my part.

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