Arizona Cardinals: No, J.J. Watt is not returning to the NFL
By Sion Fawkes
J.J. Watt enjoyed an outstanding year for the Arizona Cardinals in 2022, but don’t fall for the speculation that he’s returning.
After the NFL releases its 2023 schedule tonight, we will enter the ‘dark ages’ between mid-May and the end of July, when there is little going on in the NFL outside of OTAs and minicamps. And while they are fun to follow, most of the real headlines they produce are bad ones - like a player suffering a season-ending injury.
So to fill the void between now and training camp, we often see the rumor mill swirling, and it looks like J.J. Watt will be the subject to at least a few of them. One reason behind it is that Watt never filed retirement papers with the league, though this isn’t entirely uncommon.
He also has two brothers - T.J. and Derek - also known as D.J. - playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Finally, Watt retired after posting a 12.5-sack season, his most dominant year in quite a while.
J.J. Watt won’t return to the Arizona Cardinals…or anywhere
Despite the fact that Watt can still play, and that he would probably have a place in the NFL, expect him to be sitting at home and watching football. It was pretty clear that he wanted to spend time with his family following the birth of his son in late 2022. That said, it would be surprising if anything, even if he wanted to play, swayed him to return to the NFL.
Overall, this latest rumor, and you will undoubtedly see a lot of them, holds little water. Sure, there would be reasons to lure Watt back into the game for another year or two, but it wouldn’t happen in the desert, considering the steps general manager Monti Ossenfort has taken in the team’s rebuilding project.
He could always return to the league and end up on the Steelers. But again, Watt has higher priorities at this point, and you can expect him to stay retired.
Source: Speculation Swirls on J.J. Watt Returning to NFL by Donnie Druin, SI.com