Former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones officially announced his retirement from the NFL today in a video statement posted on his website. Jones played 11 seasons in the NFL, the last four in Cincinnati where he served as a veteran leader for Mike Zimmer's young defensive unit.
Dhani Jones was drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft out of Michigan by the New York Giants. He played three seasons in New York before moving to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004. He was a starter on the Eagles defense which lost to New England in Super Bowl XXXiX. He was released by the Eagles in 2007 and spent training camp with the New Orleans Saints, but did not make the Saints' final roster. He signed with Cincinnati two games into the 2007-08 season recorded 90 tackles and a sack. In the offseason, he signed a three year deal to remain with the Bengals. While his tackles increased every year, it was clear last season Jones had lost a step in pass coverage and his contract was not renewed. The Bengals opted to bring in the younger Thomas Howard and Manny Lawson in free agency.
Jones supplied some much needed veteran leadership for young linebackers like Keith Rivers and Rey Maualuga during his time in Cincinnati. He also helped fill a gaping hole at the position left by Odell Thurman's off-field troubles and David Pollack's neck injury.
In 2009, Jones began a successful TV career with his reality show, Dhani Tackles the Globe. The show has had two seasons and a third is scheduled. Jones also leveraged his trademark bow-tie look and opened the Bow Tie Cafe in Mt. Adams.
In his announcement, Jones thanked the Bengals for helping him to improve himself off the field and said he looks forward to his career in business.
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