Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Quarterback Josh McCown announces retirement from NFL after 'one heck of a journey'

After 16 seasons in the NFL and 17 as a professional football player, quarterback Josh McCown is calling it a career. He announced his retirement in a piece for the Players’ Tribune on Monday.

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McCown, who was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2002 draft, played for 10 different NFL teams in his career. He spent more than two years with only two teams: the Cardinals and Chicago Bears. In 2010, McCown left the NFL to spend a season playing for the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League.

“I guess it just goes to show that you don’t always get to choose your own path,” he wrote in the piece. “But looking back, I’m proud of how my career has gone. I don’t shy away from the journeyman label. I embrace it, full force.

“Because it’s been one heck of a journey.”

McCown played in 99 NFL games during his career and made 76 starts. He threw for 17,707 yards and 98 touchdowns.

In the Players’ Tribune piece, McCown talked about how his wife, Natalie, framed all of his jerseys, dating back to high school, in a room in their house.

“When I step back and look at that room, I don’t just see the jerseys,” McCown said. “I see opportunities. Opportunities that I had to learn, to grow, and to find new ways to contribute to different teams and help win football games. Opportunities that kept me in pro football for 17 years and molded me into the man that I am today. Opportunities that I thank God for, because they strengthened my faith.”

An outspoken Christian, McCown shared his faith story with The Increase back in 2012:

McCown also appeared in Football Sunday 2018 as one of the players featured in the main video. Football Sunday (powered by The Increase and produced by Sports Spectrum in partnership with Floodgate Productions) is a collection of media resources compiled every year for churches to use on Super Bowl Sunday.

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