The Cardinals recently signed Houston Texans legend J.J. Watt to strengthen the team's pass rush unit. Watt has always worn the number 99, but he wasn't expected to continue that tradition because it had been unavailable for Cardinals players. The number hadn't been used by the franchise since 1950.
The Arizona Cardinals opted to retire Marshall Goldberg's number in 2006. The former running back, defensive back, and kick returner is one of only five players in Cardinals franchise history to receive the honor. Hall of Famer Larry Wilson, Stan Mauldin, J.V. Cain, and Pat Tillman also had their numbers retired.
Clearly, the Cardinals don't take the honor lightly, but the team has been in the news since it decided to unretire Marshall Goldberg's number 99 jersey.
Fortunately, Marshall Goldberg's family has given the newly signed J.J. Watt its personal blessing, as it will allow him to wear Goldberg's number 99.
During Tuesday's news conference, the former Defensive Player of the Year claimed that someone whom he didn't know had reached out to the family about the possibility of letting him wear the number. J.J. Watt later stated that he had seen the news of the Goldbergs' approval on TMZ.
Watt later decided to speak with Marshall Goldberg's daughter and personally ask for her permission.
"We had a great conversation; she was super sweet. She thought he would want me to wear it. So I'm very honored and touched that they thought of me in that way."
J.J. Watt will aim to honor the legacy of Goldberg's number 99
Since the Houston Texans drafted him in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, J.J. Watt has always used the number 99. He also wore the number while he played for the University of Wisconsin in 2009 and 2010. If anyone can honor the legacy of war veteran and Marshall Goldberg, it's J.J. Watt, the former Walter Payton Man of the Year award winner.