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Sunday, June 16, 2024

J.J. Watt To End NFL Career The 5th-Highest-Paid Defensive Player

  • Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt announced he plans to retire at the end of the season after 12 years in the NFL.
  • Watt will end his career as the fifth highest-paid defensive player in the league, according to Spotrac.
Arizona Cardinals player JJ Watt celebrates in front of team logo
Patrick Breen/The Republic

On Tuesday, star Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt announced he plans to retire at the end of this season after 12 years in the NFL.

Watt will end his career as the fifth-highest-paid defensive player in the league, earning more than $129 million over his career, according to Spotrac, and he’s in the top 30 players overall.

  • Ndamukong Suh, $168.2M
  • Julius Peppers, $165M
  • Von Miller $164.4M
  • Calais Campbell, $134.1M

Watt is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, five-time First Team All-Pro, and five-time Pro Bowler.

His NFL legacy spans far beyond the field — he’s well known for multiple philanthropic efforts, and even won the Walter Payton Award in 2017.

Perhaps his most impressive feat was when he played for the Houston Texans. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey ravaged the region — Watt ended up raising more than $37 million as part of a hurricane relief effort program. 

His fund contributed to more than 1,100 new homes.

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