An NFL legend is retiring. After an 11-year career, Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas has announced his retirement.
The 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle entered the league in 2007 and didn’t miss a single snap until October 22 of 2017 in a game against the Tennessee Titans. 10,363 – the number of snaps Thomas played consecutively from 2007-2017.
Thomas, the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft, announced his retirement Wednesday. Here’s what he had to say about the move.
“This was an extremely difficult decision, but the right one for me and my family. Playing in the NFL has taken a toll on my body and I can no longer physically compete at the level I need to.
From the moment I was drafted, the city embraced me in a way that I could never fully describe. I am proud to call Cleveland home. The loyalty and passion of the fans is unmatched and it was an honor to play in front of them from the past 11 years. I would like to thank all of the coaches, teammates, staff, fans and everyone who has shown me support throughout my career. Even though I will be hanging up my cleats, I will always be a Cleveland Brown.”
Thomas entered the NFL in 2007 after stellar career at Wisconsin, where he won the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s best interior lineman, in 2006. The seven-time First Team All-Pro suffered a torn triceps in his left arm that prematurely ended his 2017 campaign, and now his career.
Many believe the next step for Thomas is to enter the broadcast booth. After missing out on Peyton Manning, Thomas could be on the short list to replace Jon Gruden alongside Joe Tessitore for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.