Derek Watt retires after 7 NFL seasons

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Derek Watt, the middle brother in the football-playing Watt brothers trio, announced his retirement from the NFL.

A fullback, Watt was selected by the then-San Diego Chargers in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played his first four seasons with the Chargers, then joined younger brother T.J. with the Pittsburgh Steelers for three seasons. He did not play in the NFL last season.

In an lengthy statement posted, Watt said he was “just a kid from Pewaukee, WI who had the chance to live out his childhood dream of being drafted and playing in the NFL. And now, it is with great honor and gratitude that I officially announce my retirement and the end to my career … a career that ended up being about so much more than just the game that I love.”

He also thanked his parents and his two brothers, including J.J., who retired after the 2022 season. T.J. and J.J. Watt were named NFL Defensive Player of the Year — younger brother T.J. in 2021 and older brother J.J. in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

“To JJ & TJ … From playing in the backyard, to sharing a field in the NFL, this journey together has been absolutely incredible. They say if you want to be great, then you should surround yourself with greatness … You both have pushed me to be the best that I could be and it’s been so special to see all the hard work that we put in and sacrifices that we made pay off!”

Derek Watt retires after gaining 249 yards from scrimmage and scoring three touchdowns in 110 games (20 starts). He also was a presence on special teams, playing more than 60 percent of his team’s snap count in each of six seasons.