Former Offensive Tackle Tra Thomas to Officially Retire as Member of the Philadelphia Eagles

By Bryn Swartz

Tra Thomas as been officially retired for two years now but the 37-year old offensive tackle has announced via Twitter that he will be retiring as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Thomas will have his one-day retirement as an Eagle on Thursday, which is the first day that the players on the Eagles will be back at the NovaCare Complex.

Thomas played in 11 of his 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, from 1998 to 2008. He was selected with the 11th pick in the first round of the 1998 NFL draft, and was a dominant force for the Eagles at left tackle, protecting Donovan McNabb for a full decade.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2001, 2002, and 2004, and was named as a First Team All-Pro in 2002, when the Eagles set a franchise-record with 415 points scored. He was also named to the Eagles’ 75th Anniversary All-Time Team in 2007.

Thomas started 165 out of a possible 176 games in an Eagles uniform, including all 17 postseason games that the Eagles played in during that span.

“Tra Thomas is one of the best offensive linemen to ever put on an Eagles uniform,” owner Jeffrey Lurie said. “He was an anchor at the left tackle position for many years and played such an integral role in our success, though he probably never got all the credit he deserved.

“Besides being such a great player, Tra is an even better person and someone I’ve always had a great relationship with. I’m proud of what he has done with his career after football as he has remained very successful while keeping his home in this area. We are very happy that he is retiring as an Eagle.”

Following the 2008 season, Thomas went un-signed by the Eagles. The Jacksonville Jaguars picked him up, and he played in eight games for them in 2009, starting three. He was released a month following the end of the season and signed a one-year deal with the San Diego Chargers but underwent arthroscopic knee surgery that summer. He announced his retirement on August 21, 2010, following 12 years in the NFL.

Thomas ranks tied for first in franchise history in Pro Bowls as an Eagles offensive linemen. He played the fifth most games in franchise history, first among offensive linemen.

Following his playing career, he has started a training, fitness, and nutrition facility, called 7DeuceSports.

Personally, I think it would be wonderful if Thomas could sign a one-year contract to play left tackle this season, instead of a one-day contract. The Eagles lost dominant tackle Jason Peters for the season with a torn Achilles tendon and replacement Demetress Bell has struggled throughout training camp.

This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.

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