Charlie Joiner, one of the Chargers’ all-time leading receivers and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, announced his retirement after 44 years in the NFL, including 21 years with the Chargers.
“After 44 years, it’s time for retirement,” Joiner said. “This is definitely a young man’s game, and it’s time for new blood, new insight and new ways of doing things. I think the players need to be introduced to those new things. It’s time in my life that, at 65, I should be doing something else.”
Joiner played 11 seasons in San Diego (1976-86) and finished his playing career as the team’s all-time leader with 586 career catches until Antonio Gates broke the record in 2011. A Pro Bowl choice following the 1976, ’79 & ’80 seasons, Joiner was inducted into the Chargers’ Hall of Fame in 1993. His 9,203 receiving yards rank second in team history behind only Lance Alworth and his 47 touchdown catches rank fourth behind Alworth, Gates and Gary Garrison. He was selected as the team’s Most Inspirational Player seven times and he was honored by the City of San Diego on “Charlie Joiner Day” in 1984 and ’86.
“With the Chargers, I’ve been associated with some of the best people in the game,” Joiner said. “When the Spanos family took over the Chargers, we developed a great relationship. I appreciate everything they’ve done for me and I appreciate everything they’ve done for this community. There’s a strong leadership here now with Dean, A.G. and John.”
Over his Hall of Fame playing career, Joiner amassed 750 catches, which was the most in league history at the time of his retirement as a player.