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J.J. Watt Joins The Pat McAfee Show And Answers Why He Never Joined the Steelers

Charles LeClaire / USA TODAY Sports

J.J. Watt Joins The Pat McAfee Show And Answers Why He Never Joined the Steelers

Arizona Cardinals All-Pro defensive end, J.J. Watt joined The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday to wax poetic on his career and his brothers. Watt spurned his brothers Derek and T.J. Watt last off-season by joining the Cardinals instead of the Pittsburgh Steelers. After Wednesday afternoon’s news of Stephon Tuitt’s retirement, it is all the more painful that the brothers could not recruit him for less money to the Steelers last season. It is hard to blame a player of his caliber for opting for a big contract over family ties.

You can watch his comments on Twitter below:

Watt was jovial and when Tone Digs asked the eldest Watt why he “hates” his brothers:

“That is a conversation for another day, free agency in itself is a full-blown conversation for another day.  There’s stories that I will tell. You gotta look at what that situation was, T.J. was up for a contract extension, and he had not gotten it yet.”

Steelers LB TJ Watt: “I feel like my best football is ahead of me”

It does not sound like Watt ever got serious about the playing in black and gold, because he did not want to eat up any of the money that the Steelers were about to pay his younger brother.  The Steelers did not have a realistic shot at the 3x AFC Defensive Player of the Year, based on their cap space last off-season. The hope that his brothers could convince him to play for a contract below his open market value was a solid Steeler Nation fantasy, but it doesn’t seem that based on his own revelations Wednesday afternoon it was ever going to happen.

Watt is 33 years old now and looking at the current state of the AFC, probably is relieved to chase a Super Bowl in the NFC where the path seems easier. I certainly am not wishing ill on him, but it would be interesting to hear what Watt might relate about professional football free agency recruiting. Is he intimating that teams are wildly aggressive, or that perhaps the NIL college recruiting would pale in comparison to what an all-decade player might be offered as an enticement just to visit certain destinations? Arizona had an up-and-coming quarterback in Kyler Murray and his old running mate DeAndre Hopkins to woo him to become a Cardinal. You don’t need “the bag” in the NFL because getting paid is a foregone conclusion, but if it doesn’t make you wonder what else they could possibly offer to entice a free agent… think Blue Mountain State x 100.

Watt continued. “I mean how much of your two brothers can you take. I hang out with them 50-100 days a year, we text and talk every day.  Do we really need to be in the same locker room? That defense is fun, I love watching the Steelers. I love what Mike [Tomlin] has done. Everything TJ has told me about Mike T and how he does things seems like everything you look for and hope for as a player. Obviously, the Steelers organization is one of the best in history and it seems like they do things first class and the right way up there.”

Steelers TJ Watt Derek Watt

Photo via Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO

Steeler Nation is aware how the Rooney’s treat the organization’s members like a family. It is nice for a player of Watt’s caliber to remind the NFL and potential free agents how special it is to land in a place like Pittsburgh. Depending on his production and his recent injury history, Watt could find himself in free agency as early as next season if the Cardinals elect to move on from a 34-year-old defensive end.

His glowing review of how his brothers feel about playing for the Steelers may be laying the groundwork for a late career run as a pass rush specialist when his market value is more in line with what the Steelers can pay. It could be a role akin to what James Harrison was filling late in his career as a situational pass rusher.


What do you think, Steeler Nation? Did you enjoy hearing Watt’s observations about the black and gold? Are you holding out hope to one day see J.J. Watt in a Steelers uniform? Please comment below or on my Twitter @thebubbasq.

I have been rooting for the Steelers actively since 1975. I love the Black and Gold and support them through thick and thin. I am a Navy Veteran, living in Jacksonville, FL and never miss a chance to go to the neutral site games here in Jacksonville. I am new to the Steeler Nation website, but I love discussing Steelers Past, Present and Future.



  1. Roberta J Campbell

    June 2, 2022 at 2:46 am

    I love the gut and it would make a great story but I don’t think it will happen. First I don’t think the money would line up and maybe he looks at it as right now it’s like TJs team and he wouldn’t want to take any of the shine away from him so to say. But then again maybe guys don’t think like that.

  2. Joan M French

    June 2, 2022 at 7:21 am

    I love the Steelers & have the utmost respect for the players & staff. My baby brother, who is 54 now, has been a Steelers fan since he was 8 years old. I love the Watt Brothers & yes, I wanted JJ to join them. I understand why he didn’t tho but there is always tomorrow.
    Go Steelers!!

  3. Tom Coll

    June 2, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    Derek won’t be on the team much longer anyway. Cam Hayward’s brother will replace him. You don’t need to have 3 sets of brothers with each set having a brother that is a Fullback.

  4. Patrick White

    June 2, 2022 at 4:16 pm

    I would love the signing of JJ! He and his baby bother would combine for the most sacks in a single season! And why not have that accomplishment with your brother and for the Black and Gold!

  5. Kevin Gaylord

    June 3, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    Go Badgers‼️

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