Kliff Kingsbury Says Cardinals Had ‘No Idea’ JJ Watt Was Retiring

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JJ Watt’s retirement announcement didn’t just catch NFL fans by surprise, it was also a shocker for both his head coach and his employer.

According to Kliff Kingsbury himself, he found out about Watt’s plan to retire at the end of the season at the same time the rest of the world did.

The Arizona Cardinals’ head coach admitted during his Wednesday press conference that he and the rest of the coaching staff had no idea the Watt announcement was coming.

“Happy for him; he seems like he’s in a really good place,” Kingsbury told reporters. “We had no idea that that was coming, but what a tremendous player, person and all-time greatest. To see him play the way he played the other night and then hear that. I think it’s just a special time for him, the organization, the entire NFL to kind of celebrate him these last two weeks.”

While Watt’s retirement announcement may have come as a surprise to many, anyone who saw how emotional he was following Arizona’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past Sunday likely saw the news coming.

Watt had tears in his eyes as he walked off the field and seemed to really soak in the moment, which we now know will be his last-ever home game.


Watt didn’t necessarily owe it to the Cardinals to tell him his plans to retire, but then again, this may be an inside look at just how bad things are in Arizona at the moment.

The best player on your roster not telling anyone he’s going to be hanging it up at the end of the season is a bit of an odd move, but hey, you have to respect the shock factor out of Watt’s announcement.

Written by Mark Harris

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