Charles Johnson announces retirement after 11 NFL seasons

Josh Alper
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Defensive end Charles Johnson did not sign with any other team after the Panthers released him in February and the 11-year veteran confirmed on Wednesday that he’s reached the end of his playing days.

Johnson announced his retirement through the Panthers, who will be holding an event to celebrate Johnson’s career on Thursday. Johnson spent his entire career in Carolina and ranks behind only Julius Peppers on the franchise’s all-time sack list.

Johnson had back surgery last year and said that his body has not fully recovered since the operation.

“Once you have back surgery, I don’t care who you are, it’s a beast to get back,” Johnson said. “My body was just… I haven’t worked out since this winter. I tried to get motivated to work out, and my body said, ‘We’re not working out right now.’ It was about that time.”

Johnson said he wants to be remembered as “a Panther all the way through” and his 11 years on the defense make it a good bet that it will be his legacy.

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