JJ Watt’s NFL career is now in the rear-view mirror after 12 seasons.
He spent 10 years with the Houston Texans and two more with the Arizona Cardinals, and he was a fearsome pass-rusher for both franchises over the years.
Now that he’s retired, he’s had a chance to reflect, and chose to thank his fans for supporting him throughout his career.
Frozen cocktails may make me chatty, but it’s never a bad time for some gratitude.
I am eternally grateful for every NFL fan who has ever bought a ticket, bought a jersey or tuned into a game on TV.
I am fully aware of this life that I am privileged to live with… pic.twitter.com/73CNTR4lik
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) April 3, 2023
Fans on Twitter pointed out not only that he was a great player, but also that he has been a class act.
A class always acts with its preferences in line with family values. Thank you for being an example of how gratitude leads to happiness.
— Priscilla Pilon (@PriscillaPilon) April 3, 2023
You are very down to earth! There’s a reason I’ve always been a fan! Hope to see you on the golf course someday.
— Ben Gillespie (@Gillietalks) April 3, 2023
such a stand up guy
— Simon Bernstein (@sbern360) April 3, 2023
Like many NFL players past and present, Watt has done plenty of charity, and this fan pointed to his longtime support of the men and women who serve in our military.
Thank you for all you do for the military community JJ. It’s never been a secret! You are a hero to all Houstonians. Bow down to you 99. pic.twitter.com/Qa0YRwo0t5
— Garner Bussell (@GarnerBussell) April 3, 2023
While Watt has been doing a lot of charity off the field, on the field he was a terror.
He led the NFL twice in sacks and three times in tackles for loss, which resulted in him receiving three Defensive Player of the Year awards while being voted to the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro first-team five times.
They were a struggling expansion franchise when the Texans drafted them with the No. 11 pick in 2011, but that all changed immediately.
Watt helped lead Houston to the playoffs as a rookie, and was to make five more postseason appearances during his 10 seasons there.
In 2021, he moved to the Cardinals, who finished 11–6 and reached the playoffs in his first year in Arizona after missing the postseason in each of the previous five years.
JJ Watt expresses his gratitude for fans