J.J. Watt is only 27 years old and remains one of the most dominant defensive forces in the NFL, so why is his future retirement being brought up this week? Well, because the Texans defensive lineman made some interesting comments during a radio appearance on Wednesday, hinting that he’ll likely retire earlier than most people expect.
A Houston radio show asked Watt how long he’d like to play, to which Watt responded, “I don’t have any idea what the answer is. I’m going to continue to play until I feel like I can’t play at that highest level anymore.”
Considering Watt just won his third AP Defensive Player of the Year award and led the league in sacks while battling a whole slew of significant injuries, one would assume he’s still got at least a few very good years left in the tank. I don’t think Texans fans have too much to worry about for the time being, but Watt elaborated on when he plans on calling it quits.
“I can tell you right now that I am not going to be one of those guys that is going to play as long as I possibly can. I have no interest in that. I want to go out there, I want to play at an extremely high level, I want to help my team out and I want to love playing the game and I want to have fun playing the game. I know I don’t plan on playing the game as long as I possibly can. It’s not going to be terribly longer but I am going to play as long as I can enjoy it and have fun.”
During the interview, the radio show hosts asked Watt what era of NFL football he would like to play in. The Texans star said he would like to play in the 1990s so he could play with his heroes Reggie White and Brett Farve.
Watt said was not interested in the playing in a future era.
“I don’t want to play in the future,” Watt said. “I’m not going to play very much longer, myself.”
Watt signed a seven-year, $100 million contract extension with the Texans before the 2014 season, so if he decides to hang ’em up before that deal expires, he’ll likely be leaving a good chunk of money on the table. However, we’ve seen an increasing number of very talented NFL players electing to leave the game earlier than expected for the benefit of their own health, and that’s also something Watt may value more than the money.