One of the greatest players in Cleveland Browns franchise history is officially hanging up his cleats. Ten-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro Joe Thomas officially announced his retirement on Wednesday after 11 seasons in the NFL.
“This was an extremely difficult decision, but the right one for me and my family,” Thomas said, via the Browns’ official website. “Playing in the NFL has taken a toll on my body and I can no longer physically compete at the level I need to.”
Thomas, the No. 3 overall pick from Wisconsin back in 2007, earned a Pro Bowl nod in each of his first 10 NFL seasons. In fact, he played every single snap for the team up until suffering an injury seven games into the 2017 campaign.
“Joe has been a pillar of our organization and one of the greatest to put on a Cleveland Browns uniform,” Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said. “We want to thank him for everything he has done for the Browns and the Northeast Ohio community. We should all strive for the standard Joe has set to always be available, put the team above yourself and always give maximum effort.”
Unfortunately for Thomas, team-wide success was not the name of the game during his tenure with the Browns. The team failed to earn a single playoff appearance with him on the field.
That doesn’t mean Thomas himself won’t go down as one of the greatest players in franchise history. He’s right up there with the legendary Jim Brown.