Half of Steelers Nation was disheartened when J.J. Watt officially announced his retirement from the National Football League. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year award winner was past his prime but was about to become available on the market before deciding to hang up his cleats for good.
Steelers fans would have loved nothing more to see than a Watt family reunion in Pittsburgh. Though the middle brother Derek is no longer with the team, watching T.J. and J.J. Watt line up next to each other on the defensive line would have been a dream come true for many football fans.
Even after the eldest Watt announced his retirement, not everyone is convinced that his playing career is done for good. Recently, Watt joined The Pat McAfee Show where the comedic talk host tried to talk J.J. into coming back.
During his time on the show, Watt gave Steelers fans a nugget to chew on. The former five-time First-Team All-Pro recently worked out in the Steelers' facility and admitted that he wished he was getting ready for an NFL game while talking to his brother T.J.
J.J. Watt isn't coming out of retirement to join the Steelers
This was a fun little tease, but at the end of the day, Watt is done. One of the all-time great defenders is living it up in retirement. Watt said that when T.J. talked to him about all of his bumps and bruises after the Titans game in Week 9, he remembered exactly why he's not out there playing anymore.
Over the course of his 12-year NFL career that ended in 2022, Watt sustained numerous injuries and significant ailments to his back. The former Houston Texans star combined to dress for just 8 games during the 2016 and 2017 seasons combined due to season-ending injuries.
Watt would go on to play five more seasons but played 8 games or fewer twice in his final four years in the league. He failed to earn so much as a Pro Bowl appearance during this span. Even if Watt were to come back to the NFL.
Even if Watt did all of the sudden elect to come out of retirement and sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers, it's unrealistic to assume that he would be a great player for this team. Over his final four seasons in the league, Watt exceeded 5.0 sacks just once. He never received a Pro Bowl or All-Pro vote during this span, per Pro Football Reference.
Having the Watt brothers play together in The Steel City is something we all would have loved to have seen. J.J. can reminisce about his playing days as much as he wants, but even the loveable Pat McAfee couldn't talk him out of retirement.