Bengals should try to coax J.J. Watt out of retirement in 2023

Leigh Oleszczak
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt announced that he'd be retiring at the end of the 2022 regular season after a decorative 12-year career. Watt spent the first decade of his career with the Houston Texans, who drafted him in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, and signed with the Arizona Cardinals in the 2021 offseason.

A team that should be turning their attention to ensuring that Watt doesn't retire and keeps playing is the Cincinnati Bengals.

Now I'll say this -- I know the chances of Watt returning in 2023 and beyond are slim to none. Players don't tend to make retirement announcements and then go back on them (Tom Brady is the exception, of course) but Watt never did get a chance to play in a Super Bowl and he'd have that opportunity in Cincinnati.

The Bengals would be the perfect spot for J.J. Watt in 2023.

Cincinnati has a talented room of pass-rushers but that hasn't translated to sacks. Watt would change that. The 12-year player has 9.5 sacks through 14 games this season and proved that he still has plenty left in the tank.

Injuries have been a factor for Watt down the stretch but when he's on the field, he's productive and gets to the quarterback. The Bengals could absolutely use him on their defense next year.

Watt likely isn't interested in returning to any team in 2023 and is probably going to stick to his retirement plans but the Bengals are a Super Bowl caliber team. If Watt wants one more shot at getting to the big game and winning a ring, the two could team up and make that a reality.

Next. 5 Pending Free Agents Who Have Upped Their Stock. dark

Again, file this under unlikely, as Watt made his decision but we've seen players announce they're retiring and then switch things up at the last second. If he decides to come back in 2023, the Cincinnati Bengals need to be where he ends up.

facebooktwitterreddit