Panthers DE Charles Johnson retires after 11 seasons

One of the Carolina Panthers' greatest sack artists is calling it quits.

Charles Johnson announced his retirement from the NFL in a statement released by the Panthers on Wednesday. Johnson had one year remaining on his contract.

Johnson played the entirety of his 11-year career in Carolina. The Panthers selected Johnson in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft, along with fellow Panthers rookies Jon Beason, Ryan Kalil and Dwayne Jarrett.

The 31-year-old defensive end played a pivotal role on many of Carolina's playoff teams, including the 2015 group that lost in Super Bowl 50. Johnson missed nearly half the 2015 regular season with a hamstring injury, but returned to form in the postseason where he logged three sacks and seven tackles over three games.

Johnson was suspended for four of the final five games of the 2017 season for violating the league's PED policy.

Johnson led the team in sacks for four seasons in a five-year stretch from 2010 to 2014. Over that period, Johnson's 52.5 sacks tied for the fifth-highest total in the NFL.

Johnson retires as one of the most prolific Panthers defenders. He played in 143 games and compiled 67.5 sacks, 352 total tackles, 211 QB pressures and 20 forced fumbles. He was never named to a Pro Bowl or an All-Pro team.

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