10 NFL Players That Should Throw In The Towel And Retire
The NFL isn't for everyone. Even if a player makes it into the league, it doesn't mean they belong there. He may have an exceptional 40-yard dash time; he may have amazing fundamentals as an in-line blocker; he may have excellent hands. But an excess of concussions or bad knee or kneck can exclude players from the NFL, the world's most exclusive club -- except SportsCenter Top 10, of course.
You hear about guys like Junior Seau and Jovan Belcher and you have to wonder whether they should have retired years before they actually called it a career. And there are plenty of other players like them that you haven't heard about. Maybe they could have pulled a Rashard Mendenhall and found another calling. Hell, they could have Aaron Maybin and been very mediocre artists. Anything to prevent that tragedy.
Even, Marcus Lattimore is reportedly planning on retiring. At the very least, he's considering it. He's only 23 years old, which should make people wonder: How many players are there in the NFL that are much older that need to make a similar decisions?
10. Dwight Freeney
He's an oldie and no longer a goodie. The 34-year-old vet in his 13th season has only seven tackles and two sacks this season.
9. Frank Gore
The 31-year-old running back is a 10-year veteran of the NFL. He has touched the Ball 2,636 times. He looks like he can play a few more years, but its best to quit while the quitting's good.
8. Charles Woodson
Woodson has had toe, hip, knee, shoulder, collarbone, rib, leg and concussion issues over the course of his 222-game career. Are they any other body parts to injure?
7. James Harrison
Sure, he looked damn good on Monday Night Football. But come on, the way he plays isn't sustainable. Have you seen how many needles he stuck in his body to play for the Bengals?
6. Reggie Wayne
You'd love to see a guy like this play forever, but he can't. The 35-year-old has had a Hall of Fame career with 1,048 receptions and 14,070 yards. Those are some pretty round numbers that could round out his career.
5. Brandon Meriweather
Meriweather has suffered an ACL tear and has had shoulder problems in the past. But it's not his injuries I'm worried about. The guy is a head-hunter. He seemingly aims to kill, and he's the cause of many brutal concussions. He's been fined four times by the league for targeting. He's a menace... and you know what they say about menaces. So, he should consider retirement for the sake of others and himself.
4. Sam Bradford
Someone will pay for his services, even if it isn't the St. Louis Rams. But with a surgically repaired throwing shoulder, a twice-repaired ACL, and chronic ankle problems, is it worth it? Bradford has shown his high ceiling over the course of his career with some exceptional games. However, recently he looks like a shell of his former shelf. He's not confident with the ball or comfortable in the pocket. Perhaps, it's time to consider television. He should walk away from the game while he can still walk.
3. Vontaze Burfict
Burfict had two concussions in consecutive weeks and has sustained three total in his career. He doesn't play any differently, and as a result, the head injuries are just going to keep coming. They compound on each other. Burfict is cruising for continued brain bruising.
2. Jake Long
With the two ACL injuries, Long is almost certainly a right tackle -- not a left tackle, his original position. Greg Robinson should take over for the Rams at LT. If Long returns from his second ACL tear -- which is likely -- he'll come back to the constant pounding of the NFL trench war. He'll see guys like Aldon Smith and Michael Bennett two times a year. And it turns out, knees are pretty important for a 6-foot-7, 320 pound man. It may be that time.
1. Wes Welker
It's been an amazing career for the former-Texas Tech Raider wide receiver, who was probably the 2004 Draft Class' "Least Likely to Succeed." Luckily, the guy was a total "gym rat" (3:25-4:17 in this video). Pretty much everyone has respect for the guy. But let's be honest, his brain is practically mush. And not because of the Molly -- it's because of the concussions (but the Molly isn't helping). If he continues at this rate, his spinal cord will be mush, too. Welker can definitely return and catch a few more balls. However, at this point, he should leave the NFL with the few brain cells he's got left.
Photos via Getty
Be the first to know
Want FREE Fantasy and Gaming Advice and Savings Delivered to your Inbox? Sign up for our Newsletter.