“I was unaware there was paperwork… Definitely not gonna fill that out, but definitely retired,” wrote Watt in a quote tweet on Friday. According to Schefter, “This letter silences any questions about whether Brady might return and now makes him eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2028.” The NFL no longer requires “retirement papers,” which are not irrevocable, NBC Sports reported in 2019. However, a player can file their papers to immediately initiate their pension, which is automatically activated after one year of retirement. J.J.’s brother T.J. Watt, who plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers, previously told PEOPLE he hopes to see his brother and the seven-time Super Bowl champion inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, now that they’re both retired.
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“He’s the greatest of all time,” said T.J., 28. “I’m excited to hopefully be at the Hall of Fame ceremony with him and my brother. I’m sure it’d be a good time.” J.J. previously announced that he was retiring after his last game of the season with the Arizona Cardinals, which was his 12th season with the NFL. He shared the news with photos of himself and his family on the field post-game, including wife Kealia Watt and then 2-month-old daughter Koa James. “Koa’s first ever NFL game. My last ever NFL home game,” he wrote at the time. “My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude. It’s been an absolute honor and a pleasure,” added Watt.