After the Cardinals signed defensive end J.J. Watt to a two-year contract, it was expected that the 31-year-old may have to change his jersey number. However, that may not be the case after all.
Watt has worn the No. 99 since being drafted by the Texans in 2011 and when he played for Wisconsin, but the number hasn't been worn in Arizona for some time. Marshall Goldberg, who wore No. 99, was a player for the Chicago Cardinals in the 1940s. His career included four All-Pro selections and an NFL Championship.
His No. 99 jersey was retired by the Cardinals long after he retired and in 2006 he was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor shortly after his death.
In an interview with TMZ, Ellen Goldberg Tullos, the daughter of the Cardinals legend, said she'd have no problem with Watt wearing her father's retired number.
"Well, I know dad was really honored when they retired his number but also he's always respected other players," Tullos said. "And, if J.J. Watt had the number 99 with him for a long time and it meant something to him, I think he'd be delighted to let him use the number and un-retire or whatever the proper word would be."
In a video posted by the Cardinals, Watt is speaking to his newest teammate in edge rusher Chandler Jones and says he spoke to Tullos about donning her father's No. 99.
"She gave me permission for it, so we're good to go," Watt said.
With his team and Tullos giving their blessings, things are off to smooth start in Arizona.
"He has my blessings, and I'm sure my father would be more than delighted for him to carry it on," Tullos added. "He would be fine with that. It's just the type of guy he was, you know? I think he would be happy to let him use his number and honored with that as well."