Watt retired after the 2022 season after playing his last year with the Arizona Cardinals and finished with 114.5 career sacks in his 12 seasons. But he was the Texans' most decorated player in the franchise's 21-year history.
The Texans drafted him with the No. 11 overall pick out of Wisconsin in 2011, and he played 10 seasons for the organization. Watt will be the third member inducted into the Texans Ring of Honor, joining Robert C. McNair and Andre Johnson.
"We are so excited to have J.J. Watt join the Ring of Honor as our third member. Everybody knows how much J.J. means to our family, the Texans organization and the entire City of Houston," Janice, Hannah and Cal McNair, the franchise owners, said in a joint statement. "He is one of the most dominant players in NFL history and he created a unique and irreplaceable bond with our fans. J.J. has always kept a special place in Houston's heart and we're thrilled to welcome him back. On the behalf of the entire organization, we can't wait to give J.J. and his family the celebration he deserves on October 1st."
With the Texans, Watt finished with 101.5 sacks, earned All-Pro honors five times, and won the league's Defensive Player of the Year award three times in 2012, 2014, and 2015. He is one of three players in NFL history, along with Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, to achieve that feat. The franchise also captured the AFC South Division title six times during his tenure, reaching the Divisional round of the playoffs in 2011, 2012, 2016, and 2019.
Watt won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2017 by raising $41.6 million for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which was distributed to eight nonprofits to aid the Houston community amid the damage created by Hurricane Harvey.
The Texans released Watt in February 2021 after he asked to leave the team to pursue a championship with a contender. He joined the Cardinals, who went 11-6 in the regular season before losing to the Rams in the wild-card round 34-11.
In Watt's last season, the Cardinals went 4-13, but he finished with 12.5 sacks.