Steelers’ T.J. Watt Shares Heartfelt Reaction to Brother’s Surprise Retirement

T.J. Watt

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt shared a warm tweet about his brother after his retirement news.

Any hope that the Pittsburgh Steelers would find a way to sign the third Watt brother, J.J. Watt, ended on December 27 when the 3-time Defensive Player of the Year winner announced the 2022 season will be his last in the NFL.

Watt revealed there are only two games remaining in his career with a Twitter post on Tuesday.

“Koa’s first ever NFL game. My last ever NFL home game,” Watt wrote in his post. “My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude. It’s been an absolute honor and a pleasure.”

Fewer than 10 minutes after that post, Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt subtweeted his brother with a heartfelt gif.

The Arizona Cardinals have been eliminated from playoff contention, so there are only two road games remaining in Watt’s historic career. Arizona will end the season against the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers.

J.J. Watt Retiring From NFL After 2022 Season

The oldest Watt brother arrived in the NFL as the 11th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. He could have gone first overall and been worth every bit of his selection.

J.J. was solid as a rookie but then became one of the best players in the NFL during his second season in 2012. That started a 4-year run where Watt grew into the most dominant defender in the NFL and one of the top defenders of all time.

From 2012-15, Watt made 4 first-team All-Pro squads and won 3 Defensive Player of the Year awards. He led the league in sacks twice, accumulating 69.0 sacks and 119 tackles for loss during the 4-year stretch.

J.J. dealt with injuries in 2016 and 2017, and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald supplanted Watt as the league’s best defender. But Watt returned to full health in 2018 to record 16.0 sacks. He won Comeback Player of the Year and made his fifth All-Pro team that season.

J.J. recorded 9.0 sacks, 18 tackles for loss and 38 quarterback hits during his final two seasons with the Texans. Then before the 2021 season, J.J. signed with the Cardinals.

Over the past two years in Arizona, J.J. has registered 10.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss and 31 quarterback hits. He has 9.5 sacks in 14 games this season.

J.J. and T.J. Watt Faced Each Other Once in the NFL

T.J. just won his first Defensive Player of the Year award in 2021, and while that’s not quite at J.J.’s level, T.J. has lived up to the “Watt” family name with 3 first-team All-Pro nominations and 5 Pro Bowls.

Each of the last two seasons, T.J. has led the NFL in sacks. In 2021, he tied the NFL record with 22.5 sacks.

T.J. and J.J. faced each other when the Steelers welcomed the Texans to Heinz Field during Week 3 in 2020. The Steelers knocked off the Texans, 28-21.

The third Watt brother, Derek, also played in that contest. Derek and J.J. have played against each other in other contests over the years. Derek and T.J. have been teammates in Pittsburgh over the last three seasons.

But T.J. and J.J. have only met once — in that 2020 contest.

It’s too bad that the NFL won’t get any more opportunities to see T.J. and J.J. face each other. With J.J.’s retirement, NFL fans will also be robbed of any more of his tremendous talent.

But at least Steelers fans will get T.J., hopefully back fully healthy, for several more seasons.

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