A JJ Watt fan named Jennifer Simpson took to Twitter looking to sell a pair of JJ Watt shoes and jersey to help pay for her grandfather’s funeral. Watt caught wind of it and tweeted that he would help.
“Don’t sell your shoes and jersey, we’ll help with the funeral. I’m sorry for your loss.”
Don’t sell your shoes and jersey, we’ll help with the funeral.
I’m sorry for your loss.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) July 21, 2022
Simpson originally offered a pair of Watt’s Reebok shoes and also mentioned that she was looking to sell a Watt Texans jersey.
“I’m only selling because we are raising money for my grandpa’s funeral.”
Watt was drafted in 2011 by the Houston Texans and played 10 seasons in Texas. While there he was NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times, a six-time All-Pro, five-time Pro-Bowl player, and two-time NFL sacks leader.
Simpson was overjoyed by Watt’s response and tweeted she wished she could share more of her story with the All-Pro.
“I freaking love you man. It’s been a hard year for me, and this last month has been hard since the death. I wish I could tell you my story.”
I freaking love you man. It’s been a hard year for me, and this last month has been hard since the death. I wish I could tell you my story.
— Jennifer Simpson (@JSimpson2014) July 21, 2022
This is common for Watt, and he has a strong history of philanthropy. He won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2017 for his fundraising efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, in which he raised over $37 million.
He also covered the cost of funerals for victims of the shooting at Santa Fe High School just south of Houston in 2018. Watt also paid for the funerals of six people killed after a car crashed into a Christmas parade in his home state of Wisconsin last year.
“You see situations like that and you try to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes,” said Watt about helping the victims in Santa Fe. “And you hope that somebody would step up and take care of your family if they were in that situation.”
Watt signed a two-year, $28 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals, where he missed 10 games last season with a shoulder injury.
Last season the Cardinals finished 11-6 and lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs. After the disappointing loss it looked like the Cardinals’ offseason would be rocky, as talks between quarterback Kyler Murray and the team broke down over his contract extension.
Murray finished the year seventh among all starting quarterbacks in DVOA and QBR. He wanted to be paid like the quarterbacks he performed like during the regular season.
The former first-round pick and the Cardinals just agreed to a five-year contract extension worth up to $230.5 million with $160 million guaranteed on Thursday, according to sources.
Now that Murray is locked down, they’ve acquired wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. Add that to the already strong roster and perhaps Watt can capture that elusive Super Bowl ring.
They’ll have to overcome star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ six-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. Brown, AJ Green and tight end Zach Ertz will have to pick up the slack. But if they can emerge from those six games with a .500 or better record they will be a contender.