No matter how late in their career they are, when a player like JJ Watt becomes available, NFL teams are going to be interested. Watt and the Houston Texans moved on from each other after 10 years following the 2020 season. Eventually, Arizona picked Watt up for the final two years of his career.
These days, you can catch Watt across the pond, working with Burnley Football Club, a soccer team he just bought alongside his wife.
Watt is originally from Pewaukee, WI, about two hours south of Green Bay. He also played his college football at Wisconsin, representing the Badgers before being the No. 1 overall pick. Surely, some kind of home reunion with the Packers was in store when Watt was on the open market.
Well, according to Watt, it was at least considered. He refused to expand further than saying the possibility was on the table. Things never materialized between the two parties in what could have been a storybook ending to the three-time Defensive Player of the Year’s career.
“There’s certainly a part of me that thought about that,” Watt said. “There’s another story for another day. I can’t share. That’s a story for a memoir someday. There was certainly a thought for that. It’s just sometimes things don’t materialize in the way that it all is gonna — ya know. Sometimes it just doesn’t materialize.”
Watt wound up playing 23 games for the Cardinals, recording 55 tackles, 23 tackles for a loss, and 13.5 sacks. Arizona made the playoffs once but was a quick Wild Card weekend bounce via the eventual Super Bowl champion, Los Angeles Rams.
What could have been with JJ Watt and the Green Bay Packers
Maybe one day we will get the full story from Watt. But until then, all we can do is wonder what would have happened if the defensive lineman would have gone home to Green Bay.
The 2021 season is where Watt could have made the biggest impact. While he wound up only playing seven games with the Cardinals, he did appear in the playoff game. Green Bay made the postseason that year too and was looking to make a serious run at the Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers.
As we all know, the San Francisco 49ers came to Lambeau Field and got a win. Could Watt have made a difference? Potentially, as the game ended with a three-point margin.
We’ll never know though, leaving a ton of Green Bay fans wondering what if.