Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas played 10,363 consecutive snaps, suffered a torn tricep last year and decided to retire rather than play a 12th NFL season.
Amazing! Since being drafted third overall in 2007, he was an all-star his first 10 seasons.
Yet he was never on a winning team. Never made the playoffs. Cursed to be with such a woeful franchise. He played hurt and he was always there, playing at a Pro Bowl level while the Browns cycled through coaches, quarterbacks and losses.
Even more amazing is this: after announcing his retirement, people were ridiculing Thomas.
They called him a softie, a quitter, afraid to do the rehabilitation required to return to his previous level of performance. Unbelievable.
Thomas instead deserves praise. Nobody else played as long with Thomas’ superior consistency. He was loyal to one franchise and knew to walk away from the game so he can walk into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.