Joe Thomas had not missed a down until last season, and while he will never know what it’s like to hold up a Lombardi Trophy, he will one day wear a gold jacket in Canton.
Wednesday he announced he was walking away from the game he loved and played so well, ending his tenure as one of the best tackles in the NFL.
“This was an extremely difficult decision, but the right one for me and my family,” Thomas said in the release. “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 Browns 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.”
Thank you Cleveland!!! Thanks to the FANS who showed me what being a CLEVELANDER is all about; toughness, hard worker, dedication, passion… It’s with pride that I can say I’m a CLEVELANDER and a Brown for life! https://t.co/SWNnnQ646S
— Joe Thomas (@joethomas73) March 14, 2018
It was a career sadly filled with too many losing seasons, but in the end he will go down as one of the best that played the game, no matter how many wins and losses the Browns had during that time.
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