The Arizona Cardinals sign a new player and unretire an old number

By Rodrigo Campos-Sánchez
March 15, 2021

Photo of Watt while still playing for the Arizona Cardinals Photo by J.J. Watts Instagram page

From nine years at the Houston Texans, to now being at the Arizona Cardinals, the Cardinals have signed the free-agent defensive-end, J.J. Watt. On March 1, 2021, Watt signed a two-year, $28 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals. The contract includes $23 million guaranteed, a $12 million signing bonus and an average annual salary of $14 million.

From playing college football at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to eventually being drafted by the Houston Texans in 2011, Watt has earned many career highlights and awards. In 2014, Watt made it into the NFL history books by becoming the first to record a two 20+ sack season in one career.

 Watt has also written records at the Houston Texans by recording the most sacks during the 2012 and 2015 campaigns. Sports Illustrated also named Watt its Sportsperson of the Year in 2017. To add to Watt’s awards and titles, he has also earned two Defensive Player of the Year awards and has made five Pro Bowl teams

“I think that the Arizona Cardinals made a smart and professional move when they signed J.J. Watt. Watt is a solid player that deserves to be at a good organization,” Vincent Moffa, sophomore business major, said. “It is great that the Cardinals signed him in the last few years of his prime.

With the signing of J.J. Watt, also came the uncovering of a retired jersey number. Since the year 1950, the number 99 has not been worn by any other football player at the Arizona Cardinals. The last football player to have ever worn the number 99 at the Cardinals was Marshall Goldberg. Goldberg’s jersey number sat in retirement due to his service in the Navy during World War II. In 2006, Goldberg died due to brain injuries. Today, Goldberg sits in the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Watt weight lifting while wearing an Arizona Cardinals t-shirt Photo by J.J. Watt’s Instagram page

Watt has worn the number 99 since playing football at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009 and 2010. The thought of a new number on his back would have been weird for Watt but lucky for him, the retired jersey number was unretired. Watt received the blessings from Goldberg’s family to wear the number 99 on his back after so many years in retirement.

“It is so interesting that the Arizona Cardinals actually signed J.J. Watt and he was allowed to wear the number 99. The number 99 has not been worn for 71 years. It is incredible that he is actually wearing it now. He has so much to live for,” Lauren Swint, junior education major, said. She also hopes that he will represent his new team and the number 99 well.

Watt will be able to wear the number 99 for the 2021 season and for all his time at the Arizona Cardinals.

“After he signed, he was already posting pictures of himself weight lifting and wearing an Arizona Cardinal t-shirt. He also changed his profile picture on Instagram to him wearing the logo of his new team,” Tess Dever, sophomore digital communication major, said.  She also hopes his move will be successful.

Rodrigo Campos-Sánchez

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap