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Former Bengals defensive lineman Michael Johnson retires

Michael Johnson ends his NFL career, but he is moving on to bigger and better things.

FBN-BENGALS-PANTHERS Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images

After 10 years in the NFL, Michael Johnson has officially decided to retire from the NFL. Johnson made the announcement at the grand opening of the Best Buy Tenn Tech Center, which his foundation MJ 93-90 helped fund, in Selma, Alabama.

Johnson played all but one season with the Cincinnati Bengals. He was drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He compiled 44.5 sacks over his career. He acknowledged though that he knew it was time.

“I want to spend time growing as a man, as a husband and as a father,” Johnson told the Selma Times Journal. “I’m excited about entering the next phase of my life.”

Johnson played last season on a one-year contract after the Bengals cut him prior to the final 53-man roster cut down only to re-sign him afterwards. The Bengals hired Zac Taylor this offseason and the new coaching staff opted to go forward with their young talent like Sam Hubbard and Carl Lawson at defensive end. The team also acquired Kerry Wynn during the offseason who had prior experience with new defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo on the Giants.

Johnson’s professional career ending is only the beginning of Johnson being able to completely focus on his foundation that is focused on giving back. Johnson had previously held several events in the Cincinnati area to help create a relationship with young people and police. Now that he is retired you can expect Johnson to have more time to be hands on with his foundation.

Johnson will forever be remembered for being a great veteran presence and one of the mainstays on the opposite side of Carlos Dunlap. He did some great things on the field for Cincinnati, but he will do even better things off of it.