Tra Thomas, a member of the Eagles’ 75th anniversary all-time team, announced Monday that he plans to retire as an Eagle later this week.
Thomas tweeted Monday that he plans to retire as an Eagle on Thursday, which will be the Eagles’ first day of practice back at the Nova-Care Complex.
“I am officially retiring as an Eagle this Thursday! 11 great years,” Thomas tweeted.
Several other Eagles greats, including Seth Joyner, Eric Allen and Brian Dawkins, have retired as Eagles, a formality that includes a symbolic one-day contract.
Thomas, drafted out of Florida State by Ray Rhodes with the 11th pick in the 1998 draft, spent the 1998 through 2008 seasons with the Eagles, starting 165 of a possible 176 games during that 11-year span. He was a starter on five teams that reached the NFC Championship Game and seven teams that reached the playoffs.
When the Eagles didn’t re-sign Thomas following the 2008 season, he signed with the Jaguars and played in eight games, starting three, in 2009. He was released about a month after the season ended and signed a one-year deal with the Chargers but underwent arthroscopic knee surgery that summer and on Aug. 21, 2010, announced his retirement.
“Tra Thomas is one of the best offensive linemen to ever put on an Eagles uniform,” owner Jeff 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.”
Only three players – Thomas, Jon Runyan and Brian Dawkins – started all 10 of the Eagles’ playoff wins under Andy Reid. All three are members of the Eagles’ All-Time Team, and Thomas will join his long-time teammate, Dawkins, among those to retire as Eagles.
Thomas was a Pro Bowl left tackle in 2001, 2002 and 2004. No Eagle offensive lineman has been picked to more Pro Bowls. Thomas, Jason Peters, Bob Brown from the 1960s and Bucko Kilroy from the 1950s all were picked to three.
From 1998 through 2008, Thomas ranked fourth among all NFL offensive linemen with 165 starts, behind only Runyan (176), Alan Faneca (169) and Walter Jones (168).
Thomas played in 166 games as an Eagle, most in franchise history among offensive linemen. (Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik played in 169 games but played only linebacker several times.)
In all, Thomas ranks fifth in games played in an Eagles uniform, behind only David Akers (188), Dawkins (183), Harold Carmichael (180) and Bednarik (169).
These days, Thomas runs a training, fitness and nutrition facility, 7DeuceSports, for athletes of all ages in Medford, N.J.