Texans Ex J.J. Watt Gets No. 99 'Un-Retired' With Cardinals

J.J. Watt will still be No.99 with his new franchise
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Marshall "Biggie'' Goldberg wore No. 99 as a member of the (Chicago) Cardinals, with the organization then retiring his number. But with J.J. Watt moving to the (Arizona) Cardinals, No. 99 will be worn again.

Goldberg’s daughter, Ellen Goldberg Tullos, was contacted by Watt and said that her late father would be delighted to have No. 99 represented by Watt, the former Houston Texans star and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Watt, of course, was released by Houston earlier this offseason and allowed to be a free agent. He agreed to a two-year contract this week to move to the Cardinals. Watt will be the centerpiece of a Cardinals press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

It will be interesting to follow the line of questioning for Watt, 31, who made clear his desire to pursue a Super Bowl in conjunction with his next career move, something that never quite happened for him in Houston and is not necessarily considered the destiny of the 2021 Cardinals, though their explosive offense, Watt contributing to their defense and maybe more moves to come could change Arizona's chances of competing in what figures to be a tough NFC West division.

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Watt also likely landed with the highest bidder here. Multiple teams were interested in adding the defensive end to their front seven, but the question ultimately came down to price. Would Watt will be willing to take a pay cut to join an offseason favorite entering 2021? 

In the end, no he wasn't. 

The two-year agreement is expected to be worth $31 million total, with $23 million guaranteed. That would put his annual salary roughly around $15 million per year, just $2.5 million less than what he was expected to make in Houston for 2021. 

Watt rejoined former Texans star DeAndre Hopkins out west one season following the infamous trade. Prior to the signing, Hopkins reached out to Watt, stating the two should "finish what they started" down in NRG Stadium. 

Hopkins is coming off his first season in which he tallied 115 catches to go with 1,407 receiving yards and six total touchdowns. 

Watt is an ideal fit for Vance Joseph's 3-4 defensive front, similar to what was run by former defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver. Coming off the edge will be All-Pro Chandler Jones, who since his trade from the New England Patriots has shined for the Cardinals' pass rush. 

Watt finished his time in Houston with the franchise record of 101 sacks. He also holds Texans records with 172 tackles for losses, 281 hits and 25 forced fumbles to go with 531 career tackles, 61 passes defensed and 16 fumble recoveries.

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