J.J. Watt may not have to wear a new number with the Arizona Cardinals after all. Watt agreed to sign a two-year deal with the Cardinals on Monday, but he wouldn't be able to wear No. 99 (his number with the Houston Texans) because the Cardinals retired the number to honor Marshall Goldberg. However, TMZ spoke to Goldberg's daughter Ellen Goldberg Tullos, and she said Watt could wear the number if he wants it.
"He has my blessings," Tullos said of Watt, "and I'm sure my father would be more than delighted for him to carry it on." TMZ updated the story, stating that Watt called Tullos and had a "great conversation" about No. 99. Tullos enjoyed talking to Watt and permit him to wear the number. In return, Watt asked Tullos if her dad had a charity foundation where he could donate.
"Well, I know dad was really honored when they retired his number, but also he's always respected other players," Tullos stated. "And, if J.J. Watt had the number 99 with him for a long time and it meant something to him, I think he'd be delighted to let him use the number and unretire or whatever the proper word would be. "He would be fine with that. It's just the type of guy he was, you know? I think he would be happy to let him use his number and honored with that as well."
Goldberg, who played running back, was a member of the Chicago Cardinals from 1939-1943, 1946-1948. He played in 77 games and rushed for 1,644 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 60 passes for 775 yards and five scores. Goldberg was selected to the All-Pro Team in 1941 after rushing for 427 yards and three touchdowns. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame after being named a two-time All-American at the University of Pittsburgh. Goldberg died at the age of 87 in 2006.
Watt joins the Cardinals after spending his first 10 seasons with the Houston Texans. During his time in Houston, Watt was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times while being named to the All-Pro First Team five times. The 31-year-old has recorded 101 sacks, making him one of 35 official players to record 100 sacks in a career.