Days after the Cardinals lost Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer to retirement, former Cardinal Rashad Johnson announced his retirement from the NFL on twitter today.
As I turn the page of life from chapter 31 to 32, I would like to say thank you to all my family… https://t.co/GQRb1Q2XAq— Rashad Johnson (@49foyamind49) January 3, 2018
Although Rashad Johnson played for the Tennessee Titans in 2016 and was out of the NFL this season, he will be most remembered by his playing days as an Arizona Cardinal.
The Arizona Cardinals selected Johnson in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Since being drafted, he has accumulated 382 tackles, 15 interceptions, 31 pass defensed, and returned three interceptions for touchdowns.
He wasn’t the biggest name in the NFL but certainly was a beloved player across the league. He was a mentor to Tony Jefferson and Tyrann Mathieu, some of the best defensive backs in the NFL today. He was very much a part of the coaching staff as he was a player. He was the smartest player on the defense and defensive backs looked to him for guidance.
One particular memory of him was when he lost a finger tip in the Cardinals vs Saints game in 2013. Although the injury was gruesome, he played through the injury and finished that season with three interceptions, a high for him at that point in his career. Maybe the loss of his finger tip was a blessing for his NFL career. Or, maybe not.
Johnson’s leadership and knowledge of the game made the Cardinals defense one of the most feared units in the Bruce Arians era. His combined 12 interceptions from 2013 to 2015 was the most by any Cardinal within that span. He was one of the biggest reasons why the team returned to the postseason in 2014 and made an incredible run to the NFC Championship game in 2015.
Here are some reactions to his retirement:
Congrats on great career learned a lot from you bruddaaaa enjoy the fam— Tony Jefferson (@_tonyjefferson) January 3, 2018
Former Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson announces his retirement. One of the smartest players I encountered. https://t.co/yWeHxSyMmw— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) January 3, 2018
One of the best people I’ve covered. Hopefully coaching is next… https://t.co/IM0NHW1Bvh— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 3, 2018
congratulations to a great guy, from walk-on at Alabama to 8 years in the NFL. https://t.co/GIHu1GsJb4— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) January 3, 2018
Maybe we haven’t seen the last of him in the NFL. Coaching is most definitely in his future if he chooses to take that route.
For now, Congratulations Rashad Johnson on an incredible eight-year NFL career.