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After 15 years in the NFL, Johnathan Joseph has called it a career. The longtime cornerback, a former first-round draft pick of the Bengals and perhaps best known for his nine-year run with the Texans, announced Thursday that he’s retiring at the age of 37. A two-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro honoree, Joseph was one of the most durable cover men of his time, appearing in more than 200 games and starting at least 40 for three different teams after entering the league in 2006.
“In the summer of 2006, I signed my first NFL contract with the Cincinnati Bengals,” Joseph wrote on Twitter. “Fifteen years later, I can say I accomplished my childhood goal of making it to the NFL. I will never forget as a kid telling my father I wanted to be in the NFL.”
Joseph did more than just make it to the NFL. In fact, it didn’t take long for him to establish himself as a No. 1 corner, logging nine starts as a rookie before becoming a full-timer and registering four interceptions a year later. By 2009, he paired with former All-Pro Leon Hall to form one of the league’s top young corner duos, nabbing a career-high six picks. One of the prized free agents of 2011, when he signed a five-year, $48.5 million deal with Houston, Joseph proceeded to serve as one of the Texans’ steadiest defenders of the next decade, intercepting 17 passes and missing just 11 games in nine years.
The South Carolina product closed his career in 2020 after a mutual split from the Texans in free agency. He spent half the season with the Titans, making six starts for Tennessee before his release in November, then appearing in four games for the Cardinals.