Cardinals’ J.J. Watt hints he will retire after this season

The three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year posted pictures of his wife and family on social media while leaving the message: “My last ever NFL home game. My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude.”

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Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt indicated on social media that he intends to retire after the season.

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt indicated on social media that he intends to retire after the season.

David Zalubowski/AP

TEMPE, Ariz. — Even though he’s still playing great football, it looks as if defensive lineman J.J. Watt is ready to call it a career.

The three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year indicated Tuesday that he will retire at the end of the season, posting pictures of his wife and family on social media while leaving the message: “Koa’s first ever NFL game. My last ever NFL home game. My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude. It’s been an absolute honor and a pleasure.”

Watt and his wife, Kealia, became parents in October. Koa is the name of their son.

The 33-year-old Watt was among the premier defensive players in the NFL during the early 2010s with the Houston Texans. The former Wisconsin standout was a first-round pick in 2011 and was dominant from 2012 to 2015, finishing that four-year stretch with 69 sacks to earn all three of his AP Defensive Player of the Year awards.

Watt spent his first 10 seasons with the Houston Texans and the past two with the Arizona Cardinals. He’s played some of his best football with the Cardinals over the past few weeks with three sacks against the Broncos and two tackles for a loss on Christmas night against the Buccaneers.

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