When JJ Watt announced his retirement from soccer with a simple tweet, he put down his phone and stepped away.
«I knew it would be crazy,» he told reporters.
Unsurprisingly, Watt received many messages and comments from friends, family and fans congratulating him on a great career and anything else I can say to one of the best players on and off the field to ever do it.
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But while checking her phone, Watt received a call.
«I’m scrolling and there’s a number I don’t recognize that is sending me FaceTime,» Watt told reporters. «So, I’m like, ‘I’m not going to answer a FaceTime I don’t know.’ So, I let it go to voicemail, and then I get a text from that number. And it’s a voice memo. I’m like, ‘What? Who is this number?’ So, I play the voice note, and it’s: I wish I could play it that bad. I wish it so bad.»
Watt went on to say it was a «total inconsistency» from the sender of the voice memo, who Watt eventually revealed was Cardinals rookie linebacker Jesse Luketa. And he only found out because he sent a photo.
CARDENALS ‘HAD NO IDEA’ JJ WATT WAS RETIRING, COACH SAYS
«A picture comes up, and it’s Jesse Luketa, our rookie outside linebacker, and he’s got cotton balls on both [cheeks]. He just had his wisdom teeth out,» Watt said.
The Cardinals then received the voice memo and decided to post it on Twitter, and it’s as funny as Watt made it out to be.
«He’s on drugs,» Watt said with a laugh. «He has no idea what he’s doing.»
«JJ, JJ, at the end of the season, I need a signed jersey, JJ,» Luketa is heard saying in the voice memo. «That’s all I wanted to call you and tell you. That’s it. Bye, JJ»
Luketa has played briefly for the Cardinals this season, as Penn State’s seventh-round pick has seen mostly special teams snaps. However, learning from one of the best in the game in Watt has likely been a dream for the Ottawa, Ontario native.
Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said the team had «no idea» Watt would retire. But with the Cardinals missing the playoffs and Watt about to finish his 12th NFL season, that thought was entertained and a decision was made.
CARDENALS’ JJ WATT TO RETIRE FROM NFL AFTER 12 SEASONS: ‘IT HAS BEEN AN ABSOLUTE HONOR AND PLEASURE’
Watt’s tweet breaking the big news read: «Koa’s first NFL game. My last NFL home game. My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude. It has been an absolute honor and a pleasure,» he wrote.
Watt spent his first 10 seasons with the Houston Texans, who selected him 11th overall in the 2011 draft.
Arizona will close out its season by facing the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers in its last two games.
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If Watt earns another half-sack in his last two games, he’ll earn an extra $1 million. That would certainly be a good way to exit the twilight of his NFL career.