J.J. Watt breaks down in tears as family, Tom Brady and more honor him in retirement video

J.J. Watt got a sendoff that left him in tears.

The Arizona Cardinals defensive end, who played the final game of his career last weekend after announcing his retirement last month, was honored the day before the finale with a video tribute in which some other NFL greats and his own family saluted him.

Watt, 33, shared a clip of him watching the video, which appears on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” and struggling to contain his emotions.

“Was not ready for that whatsoever. Truly one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. Will cherish it forever,” he captioned the clip.

“I just want to say congratulations on retirement,” his brother T.J. Watt, a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, said. “You and your resiliency throughout all the ups and downs, you ending up in the NFL and you being a Defensive Player of the Year and you having all the success that you had showed me that it’s possible.”

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“Congratulations, buddy. See you in Canton,” Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said, referring to the widespread belief Watt will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“Congratulations on your incredible football career,” NFL legend Peyton Manning said.

“Man, you were a pain in my ass for a long time,” fellow NFL great Tom Brady said. “It was an honor to share the field with you.”

Watt, who is father to son Koa with wife Kealia, then watched as more members of his family chimed in.

“Congrats on your retirement and Hall of Fame career, Jaje,” brother Derek, who plays fullback for the Steelers, said. “It’s been so special having a front row seat to it all and I couldn’t be more proud of you. Love you, bro.”

Watt’s parents, Connie and John, also expressed their pride in their son in the video.

J.J. Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals. (Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images)
J.J. Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals. (Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images)

“Before you were born, we had really big dreams for you and high hopes, but, boy, you kind of blew those out of the water on your own. We are so happy for you,” Connie said, as photos of Watt and his parents played over her words.

“It’s been just a complete joy watching you all through the years,” she added, as a teary-eyed Watt buried his face in his hands.

“I got to be a big part of it for your first journey back in the day when I was your coach and it’s been a pleasure to watch you ever since,” dad John said. “Kind of sad to see it come to your last game, but you have so many great things ahead of you that I’m looking forward to what the future brings for you, Kealia and Koa.”

“It has been such an honor to watch you work your ass off these past years and do whatever you needed to do to be the best,” wife Kealia said while holding their baby, prompting Watt to once more cry. “And you’ve always been so generous and kind and loving to everybody around you. And you never forgot who you are.”

As the clip wrapped up, the team around Watt burst into applause as he held back tears. Watt, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year who twice led the NFL in sacks, played the first decade of his career with the Houston Texans before spending the last two seasons with the Cardinals. Generally regarded as one of the league’s nicest players, Watt was also the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2017.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com