When J.J. Watt announced his retirement from football with a simple tweet, he put his phone down and walked away from it for a bit.
“I knew it would be crazy,” he told reporters.
As you’d expect, Watt had a lot of messages and comments from friends, family and fans congratulating him on a tremendous career and whatever else you might say to one of the best players on and off the field to ever do it.
But as he was scrolling through his phone, Watt got a call.
“I’m scrolling through it and there’s this number that I don’t recognize that FaceTimes me,” Watt explained to reporters. “So, I’m like, ‘I’m not going to answer a FaceTime I don’t know.’ So, I just let it go to voicemail, and then I get a text from that number. And it’s a voice memo. I’m like, ‘Who is this number?’ So, I play the voice memo, and it’s – I wish I could play it so bad. I wish so bad.”
Watt went on to say it was “complete incoherence” from the voice memo sender, who Watt finally revealed was Cardinals rookie linebacker Jesse Luketa. And he only found out because he sent a picture.
CARDINALS ‘HAD NO IDEA’ JJ WATT WAS RETIRING, HEAD COACH SAYS
“A picture comes through, and it’s Jesse Luketa, our rookie outside linebacker, and he has cotton balls in both of his [cheeks]. He just got his wisdom teeth out,” Watt said.
The Cardinals then got the voice memo and decided to post it to Twitter, and it’s as funny as Watt made it seem.
“He’s high off his a–,” Watt said laughing. “He has no clue what he’s doing.”
“J.J., J.J., at the end of the season, I need a signed jersey, J.J.,” Luketa is heard saying in the voice memo. “That’s all I wanted to call and tell you. That’s all. Bye, J.J.”
Luketa has briefly played for the Cards this season, as the seventh-round pick out of Penn State has mostly seen special teams snaps. However, learning from one of the best in the game in Watt has most likely been a dream for the Ottawa, Ontario, native.
Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said the team “had no idea” Watt was going to retire. But with the Cardinals not seeing the playoffs, and Watt about to finish his 12th NFL season, that thought was contemplated, and a decision was made.
CARDINALS’ JJ WATT TO RETIRE FROM THE NFL AFTER 12 SEASONS: ‘IT’S BEEN AN ABSOLUTE HONOR AND A PLEASURE’
Watt’s tweet that broke the big news said, “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,” he wrote.
Watt spent his first 10 seasons with the Houston Texans, who drafted him 11th overall in 2011.
Arizona will close out their season by facing the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers in their final two games.
If Watt earns another half-sack in his final two games, he will earn an extra $1 million. That would certainly be a good way to walk out into the sunset of his NFL career.
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