Cleveland Browns mainstay Joe Thomas announced his retirement from football on Wednesday after an 11-year NFL career that almost will certainly land him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Thomas, a 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle, played in every snap for the Browns from when he was drafted in 2007 until he suffered a triceps injury in October 2017.
That amounted to 10,363 snaps, a record the team plans to enshrine in its 2018 Ring of Honor.
"This was an extremely difficult decision, but the right one for me and my family," said Thomas.
"Playing in the NFL has taken a toll on my body and I can no longer physically compete at the level I need to.
"From the moment I was drafted, the city embraced me in a way that I could never fully describe. I am proud to call Cleveland home.
"The loyalty and passion of the fans is unmatched and it was an honor to play in front of them from the past 11 years.
"I would like to thank all of the coaches, teammates, staff, fans and everyone who has shown me support throughout my career.
"Even though I will be hanging up my cleats, I will always be a Cleveland Brown."
Though his career was marked by his excellence and endurance, he also was part of an era of unrivaled quarterback ineptitude. In his career, he protected a seemingly endless parade of starting QBs.
Thomas' decision to retire comes as a disappointment for Hue Jackson, who was hoping he would return for a 12th season.
"Joe means so much to me both personally and professionally," said Jackson. "Joe has been not just a tremendous Cleveland Brown, but one of the best to ever play in the National Football League."
The Browns prepared for Thomas' departure, signing free agent tackles Donald Stephenson and Chris Hubbard during the offseason.
|Seahawks DE Clark on Bears QB Trubisky: He´s nothing special|
|Carroll says Wilson has been ´over-trying a little bit´|
|Brown absent from Steelers facility on Monday due to ´personal matter´|
|Tomlin confirms Steelers WR Brown was absent from facility on Monday|
|Mack leads Bears past Seahawks|
|Brady discusses Patriots´ trade for Gordon|
|Bills coach McDermott hasn´t spoken to Davis, says he ´didn´t feel a need´|
|Gruden doesn´t regret decision to trade Mack|
|Patriots sign Josh Gordon from Browns|
|Carson Wentz injury update: Eagles QB cleared to play Week 3 vs Colts|
|WATCH: Broncos punter Marquette King trolls Jon Gruden in Twitter video|
|Matthews: NFL ´out of control´ protecting quarterbacks|
|Mahomes, Fitzpatrick put up impressive numbers in big NFL wins|
|Garrett on Browns parting ways with Gordon: Nobody was expecting that|
|Browns´ Gonzalez on missed kicks: I just let everybody down|
|´He told us he was done´ – Bills coach McDermott says Davis retired at half-time|
|Vikings tie Packers in OT after kicker misses three field goals|
|Chiefs QB Mahomes sets NFL touchdown record|
|Falcons´ Kazee ejected for hit on Panthers QB Newton|
|Gordon says farewell to Cleveland: ´It´s been a hell of a journey´|
|Browns release WR Josh Gordon|
|Rodgers practices but Packers QB still questionable|
|Seahawks star Baldwin to miss Bears showdown|
|Browns´ Josh Gordon out of Saints game with hamstring injury|
|Falcons to be without Freeman for Panthers game|
|Rodgers injury update: Packers QB ´getting better´, still ´day-to-day´|
|Peterson discusses eventual retirement|
|Green, Dalton help Bengals past Ravens|
|Ravens linebacker Mosley suffers knee injury|
|Ramsey on Gronkowski: I don´t fear no man, period|
|Packers WR Adams felt ´good´ in limited return to practice|
|Browns´ Mayfield praises Brees to continue the love|
|Roethlisberger misses practice as Dobbs leads offense|
|Chargers defensive end Bosa out for week two, possibly longer|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: This is the story of a hurricane|
|Rodgers injury update: Vikings expect Packers QB who ‘walks on water’ to play|
|Packers taking Aaron Rodgers´ injury ´day by day´|
|Beasley and Cowboys not hitting panic button|
|Titans QB Mariota on track to face Texans|
|Drew Brees: Baker Mayfield can be a lot better than me|
|Seahawks´ Baldwin could miss a ´couple of weeks´, says Carroll|
|Raiders coach Gruden backs Carr to be great|
|Steelers QB Roethlisberger dealing with minor elbow issue|
|Falcons place LB Jones on injured reserve|
|Panthers TE Olsen out indefinitely with fractured foot|
|Corey Coleman signing with New England Patriots|
|Rams showcase Super Bowl credentials by beating Raiders|
|Darnold shakes off woes to lead Jets past Lions in crushing fashion|
|Obviously he didn´t want to play here – Gruden opens up about Mack´s exit|
|Kaepernick selling jerseys with ´#IMWITHKAP´ and the number seven|
|Rookie Jets QB Sam Darnold throws pick-six on first NFL pass|
|No decision on Rodgers´ Week 2 status - Packers coach McCarthy|
|Falcons place Keanu Neal on IR, sign DE Steven Means|
|Olsen ´a guy you can´t ever replace´, says Panthers QB Newton|
|Rodgers returns after scary injury, leads Packers to victory|
|Cousins, Smith impress in debuts with new teams as Rodgers returns to lift Packers|
|Packers QB Aaron Rodgers leaves game with leg injury|
|Adrian Peterson reaches two rare milestones with Redskins|
|Patriots hold off late push by Texans to win at home|
|Steelers, Browns tie in wet and wild OT thriller|
|Panthers tight end Olsen suffers foot injury|
|Chiefs´ Hill scores two electric touchdowns in first quarter of opener|
|Kaepernick praises Dolphins´ Wilson, Stills for kneeling during national anthem|
|Jaguars´ Leonard Fournette ruled out with hamstring injury|
|Cardinals sign David Johnson to three-year extension|
|Falcons coach Quinn defends Sarkisian play calling|
|Brown sticks by Bell: No one wins when family feuds|
|Tom Brady wants to avoid drama in 2018|
|Tiger Woods praises Nike for ´beautiful´ and ´special´ Kaepernick ad|
|Injured Joey Bosa to miss Chargers´ opener against Chiefs|