JJ Watt should return for one last playoff push

JJ Watt should take one more shot at a Super Bowl with the Houston Texans.
Oct 1, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Former Houston Texans player J.J. Watt speaks to the crowd before
Oct 1, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Former Houston Texans player J.J. Watt speaks to the crowd before / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

J.J. Watt is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, an icon among football fans, and the Houston Texans' best player in franchise history. He is the top dog for a reason. His accolades are among the best of any NFL player to date, with only Aaron Donald proving to be a true contemporary of Watt.

During Watt's tenure, he was a five-time Pro Bower, and a seven-time All-Pro player, with two-second team selections and five first-team selections. He won the Defensive Player of the Year three times (2012, 2014, and 2015), and was the NFL sack leader twice.

He's a multi-time Sports Man of the Year and is most recently the latest inductee to the Houston Texans' Ring of Honor. One of just two players, Andre Johnson and Watt.

He was a legend in Houston but left the squad after 2021 and signed with the Arizona Cardinals that offseason where he'd play out the rest of his career. He signed there with the hope of winning a title, but that never happened, and despite being retired for the 2023 season, he had apparently told DeMeco Ryans that he was training like he intended to play again.

A sentiment he continued into 2024. Still training like he intended to play, but needed Ryans to tell him he needed him before he committed to a comeback and that was something Ryans just did.

It may seem unnecessary to bring back Watt, who is a 35-year-old defensive end, when the team has a crop of great, and far younger defense ends already on the roster.

After all, Danielle Hunter and Will Anderson aren't going to sit back and let Watt take their reps. Right?

Well, while not a notable aspect of his career, he has played defensive tackle on occasion. At 6'5, nearly 290 lbs, Watt would be the perfect defensive tackle for the team. Especially as an anchor/three technique type, generally regarded as the better pass-rusher inside, Watt could use his size to line up inside next to Anderson or Hunter and cause havoc.

Now, he may no longer be a starter in this league, and that should be taken into consideration. Still, an occasional pass-rusher from either the tackle or end spot on defense, or even a blitzing linebacking role would still suit him as well, assuming he can't play a majority of the snaps.

He's someone who's clearly still in the shape needed to play, he has a desire to return and the team has a need for him up-front, and frankly, the fans want him back. If only for one more season, if only so he can have an outside shot at winning a title.

Bringing back Watt would be wise for the team but Watt coming back to erase the stain of his time in Phoenix is almost just as needed. Fans deserve to see him rock those cool new uni's just one time before he decides he's done.

And hey, if he does return, plays out of his mind, and decides he has some more in him, who are we to stop him from returning another season?