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East Texas native Josh McCown announces retirement from NFL after 17 years

McCown made the move official with a heartfelt letter in The Players' Tribune.
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) drops back to pass the ball during the first half of their game against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

JACKSONVILLE, Texas — Jacksonville High School alum Josh McCown has announced he will retire from the NFL after 17 years.

McCown made the move official with a heartfelt letter in The Players' Tribune.

After graduating from JHS, McCown went on to play three years of collegiate ball at Southern Methodist University before transferring to Sam Houston State University for his senior campaign. In 2002, he was selected in the third round (81st overall) of the NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He would stay in Arizona until 2005.

In March 2006, McCown signed a contract with the Detroit Lions. In 2007, he was traded to the Oakland Raiders. In February 2008, the East Texans signed with the Miami Dolphins, but was traded to the Carolina Panthers later that year.

In 2010, McCown was signed by the United Football League's Hartford Colonials. In August 2011, he made the move back to the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers. Three months later, McCown signed with the Chicago Bears.

In March 2014, he signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, in February 2015, he made the move to the Cleveland Browns. He was released by the Browns two years later.

In March 2017, McCown signed a one-year deal with the New York Jets. In March 2018, he signed another deal to stay in the green and white.

Following the 2018 season, McCown became a free agent until announcing his retirement.

"At the end of the day, no matter what team I was on, I tried to serve it to the best of my ability, and I tried to influence my team in a positive manner," McCown wrote in the article. "I hope I did that. And I made sure that when my number was called, I was prepared, and I gave it everything I had, every time. I may not have turned out to be the franchise quarterback I set out to be back at Cardinals rookie camp, but I’m extremely proud of the career I had."

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