August 22, 2018 / 5:05 PM / a year ago

Panthers DE Johnson to retire after 11 seasons

February 3, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (95) addresses the media during a press conference prior to Super Bowl 50 at San Jose Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive end Charles Johnson is retiring from the NFL after 11 seasons.

A third-round pick in 2007, Johnson spent his entire career with the Carolina Panthers before being released in February.

He said back surgery in the spring of 2017 was the beginning of the end.

“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, 32, ends his career second behind Julius Peppers on the Panthers’ all-time sack list with 67.5. He played in 143 games in his career and, according to Spotrac, earned $75 million from 2007-2017.

The Panthers will hold a press conference at Bank of American Stadium on Thursday.

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