In what will likely be the most significant retirement of the off-season, Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns has announced that he will no longer compete in the National Football League.
On his ThomaHawk podcast, Thomas cited his recent knee injury as the main reason for his retirement.
Drafted third overall out of the University of Wisconsin in 2007, Thomas proved to be one of the most durable players in league history. Since he was drafted, the Left Tackle played 10,363 consecutive snaps until a tricep injury forced him out on October 22 of this past season. This is (unofficially) the longest streak of its kind.
In a career spanning eleven seasons, Thomas was named a Pro Bowl selection in ten of them. Only four other players went to the Pro Bowl in their first ten seasons, and he did this all for Cleveland, a team that has not been good (he never played in the playoffs). He also was named a First Team All-Pro seven times.
Thomas will always be revered in the city of Cleveland. Despite the team’s failure to build stars around him, he never asked to leave, always conducted himself with class and led by example. He should be a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame (he will be eligible in 2023) and has a better than average chance to enter on his first ballot.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate Joe Thomas on an incredible career and we wish him the best on his post-playing life.