2016 NFL Retirees

Sports Column

Kevin Clem, Sports Editor

Everyone knows that the NFL is one of the largest corporations in the United States, and games are watched throughout the country. Some of the biggest, fastest, strongest, and most athletic individuals in the world throw on some pads and just go at it in a good ol’ fashioned game of football.

With all of the big hits in today’s game, it’s easy to understand how the sport wears on the human body, and that’s where the question “How old is too old?” comes into play. Every player is different and has many factors to consider when thinking about retirement, such as age, injuries, and in a lot of cases how they’re team has been doing as a whole. So with all of the variables set into play there’s really no way to tell when a player will retire, but in my opinion a very large contributing factor is the prestigious Super Bowl ring: the one thing every single player in the league strives for.

With the 2016 season ending, this year’s retiring class has been adding more and more shocking additions which is officially at 10 NFL players.

Surprises to the league include 30 year old Lions receiver Calvin Johnson Jr. who reportedly  told family and friends that this past season would be last according to SportsIllustrated.com. Johnson currently ranks 27th on the NFL’s all time receiving after just 9 years, and has been considered one of the best in the league the past few years. Teammate Corey Fuller tweeted “Thank you! It’s been a honor to line up aside to you, call you a teammate, a mentor, and friend… Congratulations on a great career! #megatron #GOAT” after hearing news of Johnson’s retirement. This came as a shock to many because Calvin Johnson is still capable of playing and  has yet to win a ring , but then again his odds of winning one in the next few years are pretty slim.

On the other side of the spectrum Peyton Manning has officially made the decision to bring an end to his historical career. This was a sub-par season for Manning. At one point, Manning was the Denver Broncos’ backup quarterback, the first time Manning was a backup since his freshman year at Tennessee. Manning battled his way back into the starting position and with a little help from his defense, lead the Broncos to their third Super Bowl ring, and Manning’s second. The Sheriff officially decided to retire March 7, 2016.

Of all the things analysts can predict in the world of sports, how long ones career will be is certainly not one of them, and for that reason we’ll always have jerseys of people that no longer play but have left their footprint on the sport.