Could J.J. Watt’s career be closer to the end than the beginning?
Watt, the greatest defensive player of his generation, hinted in an appearance this morning on 610 Sports Radio in Houston that he could retire sooner rather than later.
Via James Palmer of NFL Network, Watt said he won’t try to play as long as he possibly can. Instead, Watt says he’ll stop playing when he’s no longer one of the best players in the NFL.
In that approach, Watt is like Calvin Johnson, who retired from the Lions this offseason. Johnson is still capable of playing at a very high level, but he’s no longer the best wide receiver in the NFL, and now that he’s not the best anymore, he decided to hang up the cleats.
Watt, who has won three NFL defensive player of the year awards in his five seasons with the Texans, has spoken this offseason about what a physical toll the 2015 season had on him. Although Watt continued to play very well and didn’t miss a game, he’s been battling through groin injuries, back injuries and arm injuries.
Perhaps Watt will emulate Jim Brown and retire after a nine-year NFL career. If so, Watt’s career is more than half over.