Nico announces retirement from NFL

Published 7:01 pm Friday, October 27, 2017

Andalusia native Nico Johnson announced via Twitter Friday that he is retiring from professional football and plans to pursue a coaching career.

The former Crimson Tide linebacker was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. The Chiefs released him during the final preseason game before the 2014 season.

He later singed with the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2014 season, and joined the New York Giants in December of 2015. In his three years in the NFL, he had three starts and 22 total tackles.

Johnson earned all SEC honors as a freshman at UA, and had 162 total tackles and 16.5 tackles for a loss over his four-year career with the Tide.

He is a 2009 graduate of Andalusia High School.

“I just can’t take getting my body back to playing mode anymore,” Johnson said. “That flame that once burned bright like crazy is very dim, so I’m hanging the cleats up for good, and excited to jump into my next chapter. Everything I’ve learned through my career will be passed down to other players with whatever opportunity (coaching) comes my way.”

“For 22 years, I’ve been blessed to play a game called football,” he posted. “A game that made me a wiser man, uncle, son, grandson, you name it. The life lessons I’ve learn(ed) is off the charts, and I can never repay the game for it all,” he said. “I’ve had my highs and my lows, but through it all, I strive like a boss. I lost so many loved ones along my journey that had a big influence in my life, but because the game that I’ve always been in love with taught me how to handle adversity in difficult times, it was a blessing to play with some great men. Thank you all for pushing me to strive for more in life.”


He especially thanked Alabama head coach Nick Saban, and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, who was the defensive coordinator at UA during Johnson’s playing years.

“To the Saban and Smart families, thank you for allowing me to be a part of winning three out of four national championships while at Alabama,” he wrote.

Johnson could not be reached for comments Friday afternoon.