Johnathan Joseph, a longtime NFL cornerback who was named to the All-Pro Second Team twice in his career, is retiring. The 15-year veteran player announced the news on Twitter, and it comes after spending the 2020 season with the Tennessee Titans and the Arizona Cardinals.
"Today I retire from the NFL," Joseph wrote. "In the summer of 2006, I signed my first NFL contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. 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 was drafted No. 24 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2006 from South Carolina. He had a career year with the Bengals in 2009, recording 59 tackles, six interceptions and 20 passes defended. Joseph became a free agent after the 2010 season and signed a five-year, $48.75 million contract with the Houston Texans where he would spend the majority of his career.
Joseph was named to the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro Second Team in 2011 after posting 40 tackles, four interceptions and 15 passes defended. He reached the Pro Bowl again in 2012 after tallying two interceptions and 10 passes defended, with 57 tackles. In 2015, Joseph recorded a career-high 22 passes defended, which led to him being named to the All-Pro Second Team again.
The veteran cornerback would sign two more contracts with the Texans before being released by the team in March 2020. Nearly two months after his release, Joseph signed a with the Titans and played in seven games. He was cut by the Titans in November and then signed with the Cardinals a week later.
"We’re always trying to look ahead and he’s a guy at a position that’s extremely hard to find,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said after the team signed Joseph. “He’s got a ton of experience in this league and his ability to play man coverage with natural anticipation is something — just from watching the film — he does a really nice job. Really good anticipating the ball from playing off, tackles and is a tough player. We’ll see where that goes. Again, with this COVID protocol, you’re just not really sure what positions you’re going to need so you just got to stay aggressive and continue to work the phones.”