Reflecting on his inaugural year of retirement, JJ Watt candidly shared that he entertained the thought of a potential comeback during the 2023 NFL season.
During an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Watt unequivocally stated that he is now “absolutely” retired for good. However, he admitted to monitoring both the Houston Texans and the Pittsburgh Steelers to see if an opportunity arose.
Expressing his admiration for the prospect of playing alongside his brother, T.J. Watt, in Pittsburgh, Watt acknowledged that this possibility never progressed beyond mere speculation.
Despite his initial interest, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year concluded that the Steelers’ defense was well-equipped, thus ruling out a return. He mentioned that he might have reconsidered if he believed his presence could significantly bolster a team’s chances of contending for the Super Bowl, but returning for any other reason would have seemed “ridiculous” to him.
Watt reminisced about feeling a resurgence of interest during his visit to the Steelers around the midpoint of the season.
In hindsight, Watt contemplated whether different timing could have led to an alternative decision. The Steelers experienced a slump, losing four out of five games towards the end of the season, yet managed to clinch a playoff spot with a three-game winning streak.
Meanwhile, the Texans secured the AFC South title with stellar performances from rookie sensations C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson. It’s plausible that Houston would have warmly welcomed JJ Watt back for one final stint.
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