Rashad Johnson announced his retirement today on Twitter. Johnson was a third round selection by the Cardinals in 2009 out of the University of Alabama. The defensive back played eight season in the NFL, most recently in 2016 with the Titans. His first seven seasons were as a member of the Cardinals.
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 (@rashadjohnson) January 3, 2018
Johnson became a major player on defense in 2014, starting all 16 games, finishing with over 100 tackles, four interceptions, and two defensive touchdowns. That season marked a return to the playoffs for the Cardinals, their first visit since 2009.
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More than just Talent
Towards the end of his time in Arizona, Johnson served as a mentor to younger safeties Tony Jefferson and Tyrann Mathieu. The pair’s success is partly a result of Johnson’s desire to make everyone around him better and desire to win. Johnson was widely viewed as an important presence on the team and instrumental in the defense becoming a top unit in the NFL.
Nothing exemplified that last trait more than when the safety lost part of his finger during a game. Johnson lost the tip of left middle finger against the Saints in 2013. The injury occurred during a punt return by the Saints as Johnson attempted to tackle the returner. The safety inspected his hand, realizing that the tip of his finger remained in the glove. The incident will be what many remember Johnson for. His toughness to remain in the game will never be forgotten.
— Ryan Adverderada 🇵🇭 (@RyanAdverderada) January 10, 2018
Johnson’s playing career is over but don’t count out a possible coaching job in the near future. With the retirement of Arians and Palmer, Cardinals fans are watching significant pieces of the Arians era step away from the game. Players leave it all on the field and give everything they have. In the case of Johnson, his left middle finger is the proof. Thank you Rashad Johnson, you were a joy to watch and an inspiration to many.