J.J. Watt went to great lengths to keep his news quiet until he announced it himself

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J.J. Watt did something not many players have ever done. He made his own free agent announcement.

“Take control of your own narrative,” Watt said, via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.

No reporter was tipped off, and the Cardinals didn’t beat him to the punch. The defensive end took no chances, though, even using subterfuge in his T-shirt order.

Watt ordered T-shirts for the final “four or five” teams in his search, ensuring he would be ready come decision time. But Watt, conscious that news of Patrick Mahomes‘ record extension with the Chiefs last summer was leaked by a liquor store clerk, took no chances.

In fact, Watt went to great lengths to ensure no one at an Amazon fulfillment center would put two and two together. He asked his brother’s high school friend to order the shirts with the friend’s credit card and had the delivery going to the friend’s house to throw anyone off his trail.

“This is kind of funny,” Watt said. “It’s kind of stupid, too, but whatever.”

It worked as Watt broke his own news on social media Monday, posting a photo of him under a squat bar while wearing a Cardinals’ shirt.

“We kept it very quiet,” Watt said. “There were a lot of rumors and reports. It was funny to sit back and watch it all play out. At the end, when I decided Arizona was the place, we realized how quiet it had truly been on that front.”

Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim put a full-court press on Watt, using celebrities Frank Caliendo and Blake Shelton to woo Watt. It also didn’t hurt that Arizona seemingly made the biggest offer as Watt signed a two-year, $31 million deal.

8 responses to “J.J. Watt went to great lengths to keep his news quiet until he announced it himself

  1. He’s a has-been. The Cards have a high school QB running a college offense. They’ll have another massively disappointing season, book it

  2. When you need someone to drum up All Pro votes, Hall of Fame votes, Pro Bowl votes or leak pieces that provide you a narrative to get compensated better or put you in a more favorable position in the public, don’t call the media then. Do it yourself and see how far it gets you.

    The media actually plays an important role for players whether they realize it or not or just don’t want to admit it. I’m not saying they’re all quality professionals, but dismissing them b/c you think you could do better will have the same effects that these players contracts have who dismiss their agents. It usually doesn’t work out the way you want bc they serve a role whether you like it or not or want to use them or not.

    They actually are leverage for players. Maybe not in this situation, but in the majority of others they are.

  3. Does this guy ever shut up? Good lord he acts like he is the greatest athlete in the history of mankind and us mere peons were crumbling apart awaiting his decision. This guy is rivaling Lebron James as the biggest narcissist egomaniac in sports.

  4. So over 2yrs that works out to about 2.6mil a game played. Knew someone would overpay just for his name.

  5. It was so quiet on the Arizona front because you were telling the world you wanted to play for a contender; that’s the only reason why no even looked at Arizona.

    Arizona was a payday team, not a contending team.

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