Sports

All-Pro running back David Johnson announces retirement from NFL after 8 seasons

David Johnson, an All-Pro in 2016 with the Arizona Cardinals, has announced his retirement from the NFL after eight seasons in the league. 

Johnson, 32, posted to his Instagram on Sunday, expressing his wishes to move on to the next chapter of his life after football. 

“There’s been highs and lows, but I’ve felt very fortunate and honored by the people who’ve supported me along this journey,” Johnson said in his retirement post. “The relationships and brotherhoods I’ve formed with so many of my dawgs will never be forgotten.”

David Johnson runs

David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals carries the ball against the New York Giants, Oct. 20, 2019, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Johnson wasn’t a highly touted prospect coming into college, which he discussed in his lengthy post. But he put in work at Northern Iowa when he entered the NCAA, collecting more than 6,400 yards with 63 touchdowns in four seasons. 

His efforts would lead the Cardinals to draft him in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, though he would be a backup to speedster Chris Johnson in the backfield. 

However, he got his shot when the elder Johnson suffered an injury. David Johnson exploded for 120 total yards and a touchdown in his first career start, and he would follow that up two weeks later with 187 rushing yards and three touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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“2 games in, getting my uniform and cleats put in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton,” Johnson wrote.

In 2016, Johnson cemented himself as the Cardinals’ man in the backfield, totaling 1,239 rushing yards with 16 touchdowns while catching 80 passes for 879 yards and four more touchdowns.

David Johnson runs

David Johnson of the Houston Texans catches a pass for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at NRG Stadium in Houston on Dec. 27, 2020. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Johnson’s 20 total touchdowns remains the team’s franchise record for the most in a single season, and he earned his first and only All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors.

Johnson spent five seasons with the Cardinals, tallying 3,128 yards on the ground and 2,219 receiving with 48 total touchdowns. 

He would end up joining the Houston Texans in 2020, spending his first season as the team’s starter with 691 yards rushing and 314 receiving with eight total touchdowns. Johnson would fall into a backup role in 2021 and would join the New Orleans Saints in 2022, where he played just five games and had 24 yards rushing.

“When it’s all said and done, I really hope I impacted at least 1 person on and off the field in a positive way,” Johnson continued. “I hope I was able to pay if forward, from the countless people who guided and taught me the right way to go about business, and giving back with integrity and a humble demeanor!”

David Johnson smiles

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“And to the numerous coaches who sharpened my skills in playing this sport. I am forever grateful of you, truly! Lastly, I would not have been able to do any of this without Gods good grace! He did it all so a kid who didn’t have much, was given a chance to do what most can’t. I’m looking forward to my next career path in life. I don’t know exactly what that will be, but I hope it will bring me the same passion, excitement, and love as football did!”

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