“If You Ever Do Call, I’ll Be There” – JJ Watt Told DeMeco Ryans He’d Return To Play If The Texans Absolutely Needed Him

JJ Watt
@willkunkelfox

Three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt is clearly living his best life in retirement. On Saturday evening, his foundation was hosting a charity softball game, and the Houston Texans legend got a nice plug from the team’s official X account.

Watt is still very much involved with the NFL as an analyst for CBS’ studio show. As he revealed at a press conference, though, Watt is still maintaining an intense training regimen just in case the call comes in from Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans. Having just turned 35 in March, Watt emphasized that he’d only come back if Houston was in desperate need of his services, and that the 2024 season would be the last year he’d even consider coming out of retirement to play.

“I told DeMeco last year, I said, ‘Don’t call unless you absolutely need it, but if you ever do call, I’ll be there.’ But he knows not to call unless he absolutely needs it.

This is the last year I’ll tell him that, because I’m not going to keep training the way I’ve been training. But he knows that if he ever truly does need it, I’ll be there for him, but I don’t anticipate that happening. They’ve got very good crew.”

Nice to see Watt pop up in the news again. Hadn’t thought much about him since the Super Bowl when he tried to bring back a version of the frosted tips hairdo. I mean hey, if you’ve got the lettuce, do whatever you want, JJ. You’ve more than earned it.

Watt genuinely does seem at peace with no longer playing in the NFL. However, there must be at least some lingering lack of closure. The Texans were a hot f**king mess when they released him during the 2021 offseason after 10 seasons with the franchise. As a Wisconsin native, Watt really wanted to play for the Packers. Alas, they did what they often did especially toward the end of Aaron Rodgers’ tenure and didn’t make any splashy signings on the open market. That led Watt to a two-year stint in Arizona, with a Cardinals organization that was in complete and utter disarray at the time. They went one-and-done in the playoffs in Watt’s first year there before the wheels totally fell off.

I can’t help but wonder how Watt’s career would have been different if he’d played somewhere better. Of course, now that he’s retired, Houston is roaring back thanks to the leadership of Ryans and prodigious quarterback CJ Stroud. With Ryans’ background as a Texans franchise cornerstone at linebacker, he’s revamped that maligned unit in short order. Will Anderson Jr. is entering his second season, and now has Danielle Hunter on the edge opposite him.

In all likelihood, Watt would flourish as a rotational defensive end; even more so as a situational interior pass-rusher on the 2024 Texans. Imagine being Houston’s opponent, in an obvious third-down passing situation, and you see Anderson, Hunter and Watt pinning their ears back to tee off on your offensive line. Zero fun, sir!

Think about it this way: How unbelievably lit would it be to see the Texans open their season at home, with JJ Freaking Watt sprinting out of the tunnel with the Texas or American flag like Rodgers did for the Jets last year? The reigning AFC South champs should consider bringing Watt back into the fold for that possibility alone, in my humble opinion.

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