In 2014 He Became The NFL’s Highest Paid Non Quarterback Player
By 2014 and given his impressive record as one of the most valuable defensive players of all time there was some discussion in Football circles that JJ Watt was very underpaid when compared with others of the 2011 class. While he had two years left on his contract and had proved to be one of the most valuable players in the Texan’s stable his low starting contract led to him being only the 9th highest paid of all Texan players, less than some rookies recruited that season.
That disparity was put right, however, when at the start of that season he signed a 6 year extension worth $100 million. The contract saw him receive a huge $30.0 million at signing making him the highest paid NFL player outside of the quarterbacks.
Watt immediately proved his worth when, in September 2014 he became the first Texans defensive player to score a touchdown from a scrimmage. His career that season was so spectacular that he was named as defensive end on the 2014 All-Pro First Team and defensive tackle on the All-Pro second team as well as being named to the 2015 Pro-Bowl. He was the Defensive MVP and won the Defensive Player of the Year Award once again (one of only a select few to win more than once). He also received votes for the MVP award itself.
JJ Watt Is Heavily Involved In Charity Work
Charitable work is very close to JJ Watt’s heart. In 2010, even before he made it to the professional leagues, he started the Justin J Watt Foundation which was designed to provide opportunities for children from various different communities to engage in Athletics. The foundation, whose motto is ‘Dream Big, Work Hard’ sells merchandise and has raised over $1million for charitable purposes. Watt was inspired to start the foundation during his time as a junior at Wisconsin. He volunteered at a middle school and heard a story about a kid who, left unsupervised between the end of school and his mom’s work, had robbed someone with a screwdriver. This alerted him to the need for funded, structured after-school activities for children. Initially concentrating on children in Wisconsin and later Texas the foundation has expanded into other states more recently. Watt helps to raise funds by organizing a softball game in which Texans players participate, and many other activities including a Run/Walk and a Tailgate. In 2015 the Softball Game raised over $640,000 and with the increase in Watt’s fame the takings look to continue to increase. Watt has received several awards for his contributions to charity including the NFL’s Salute To Service Award, and the Texans Spirit of the Bull Community Award.
Watt has shown that he is particularly affected by events that include children. After the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012 he found out that some of the families involved in the event were in Houston, he arranged for them to visit the playing field, play football with them and donated signed merchandise. He has also surprised children in hospital in Houston by attending their Halloween party dressed as Batman. Such trips are not unusual for Watt who regularly visits sick children, although his visits are usually low key and he typically appears as himself! He also comes across as a very low key, highly involved man. In addition to supporting sick children he often goes to firefighter memorial services and will visit firefighters on duty during the holidays (his dad is a firefighter).
JJ Watt Goes To Bed Really Early
JJ Watt takes training very seriously, so seriously, in fact, that he probably works out harder than any other sportsman in the US. Even during the off-season, he is known to spend the majority of his time working out and before he bought his ‘minimalist’ home in Wisconsin (see above) was known to crash on friends’ floors during the off-season. He works out twice a day for 90 minutes at a time with the same trainer he has had for years and with the same basic work out. Watt likes to use his time at the gym to encourage youngsters in their fitness regime and is happy when they want to train alongside him.
Sleep is a big part of his fitness regime, it is so important to him that he has put his own bed in the Texans equipment room so that he can take naps during training. Ever the generous player he is happy for other players or the equipment personnel to use it for naps if he is not in it. Watt is known to love sleeping so much that he goes to bed early, at around 7/7.30pm (although given his crazy training regime it is a wonder that he can stay awake that long) and he sometimes gets up as early as 4am in order to fit all his training in.