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Top 15 Athletes Who Should Retire Already

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15 Athletes Who Need to Retire

athletes retiring
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Every sport has those athletes. You might be asking who 'those athletes' are -- and I'm here to tell you. You know the guys that just can't seem to escape injuries? They can be classified as 'those athletes'. How about the guys who just can't seem to play at the level they used to but still attempt to remain in the sport? Yep, that would be considered as a 'those athletes' category.

This isn't always a bad thing to the athlete as most of them have had very successful careers, but injuries and poor play due to old age has brought them down considerably. Some athletes have been playing so long for the love of the game that they have a difficult time deciding when enough is enough. Other athletes love the money they are being paid so they continue for their contracts and some just want to prove that they can successfully come back from injuries.

Sports give guys like this a chance to make a comeback. Take Randy Moss, for example. The decorated wide out was one of the best receivers of all time before the end of his career neared. Playing for the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 wasn't necessarily a mistake, but you could tell by his play that he wasn't the same receiver he used to be -- maybe a few years past his ideal retirement time.

We can't forget Terrell Owens' countless attempts to make it back into the NFL -- and countless failed attempts at that. It looks like the former wide out has set his sights on a bowling career and saying how he'd be a better NBA player than Luke Walton -- yeah, he said that.

Take a look at my list of 15 athletes who need to retire as soon as possible and let me know who I've missed.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at muldown5@gmail.com.

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15. Jermaine O'Neal

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Jermaine O'Neal was once one of the best big men in the NBA, averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds on the regular, but has since fallen off the map. The 35-year-old hasn't averaged more than 10 points per game or played over 70 games since 2009-10.

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14. Ed Reed

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

The shelf-life of an NFL player is so short these days. Ed Reed was once one of the hardest hitting players out there, but after being signed by the Houston Texans in the offseason before the 2013 season and then traded midway through the year, you have to doubt if he still has it.

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13. Manu Ginobili

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Ginobili isn't too old for an NBA player, but he's 36 and not getting any better -- or even staying the same. Since 2010-11, he has seen his points per game cut in half and they are at their lowest rate since 2002-03 -- his rookie year. Plus, he's had a tough time staying healthy in the past couple seasons.

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12. Ray Allen

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Averaging at least 15 points per game from 1997-98 through 2010-11 was a pretty impressive streak, but don't ever expect the 38-year-old sharp-shooter to approach that number again. All of his numbers have drastically decreased since joining the Miami Heat two years ago, including his three-point shooting percentage dropping off four percentage points.

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11. Matt Leinart

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Receiving a handful of awards in college with the USC Trojans was nice, but that didn't translate to the NFL. The quarterback was drafted 10th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2006 and was expected to big things, but he has more career interceptions than touchdowns -- and he's still attempting to make a comeback.

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10. Kwame Brown

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Talk about the biggest NBA draft bust of all time. This guy was a disappointment the second he stepped onto the court in his rookie season and has been nothing but that since. He has averaged just over 10 points per game and over seven rebounds per game just once in his career -- that's not good for a No. 1 overall pick.

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9. Vince Carter

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

I know Vince Carter is still a serviceable NBA role player, but people are starting to forget his dominant playing days with the Toronto Raptors. This guy's career was so good that if he sticks around too long, it may be overshadowed by his late years -- like Tracy McGrady. He hasn't averaged near 20 points per game since 2008-09 when he had a streak of 10 out of 11 seasons with 20 or more points per game.

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8. Steve Nash

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I guess this one makes sense because Nash is currently considering a medical retirement. When you've had your worst numbers since 1999-00 and you're thinking about retiring because of general soreness, you know it's time to hang it up.

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7. Ichiro Suzuki

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Ichiro has had one of the best careers of any baseball player with over 4,000 hits combined in Japan and the United States. However, he had his lowest career average in 2013 and it looks like he doesn't have the same speed he used to. I guess 40 is the perfect age to call it quits.

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6. Jason Giambi

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Talk about going from perennial MLB All-Star to a seemingly non-existent hitter. Giambi was a guy who could hit over .300 with 35-plus home runs, but those numbers are so far gone it's almost sad. Giambi hit .183 with nine home runs last season for the Indians -- yeah, it's time to hang up the cleats.

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5. Derek Jeter

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Playing his entire 18-year career with the New York Yankees, Jeter has been dubbed "The Captain" for his service to the organization and leadership. However, leadership can't make up for the 145 games he missed this season and it's been two straight years now that he's suffered a season-ending injury. The 39-year-old is on his last leg and might consider a medical retirement.

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4. Barry Zito

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It's almost hard to remember a time when Zito was solid. He signed maybe the worst contract in sports history with the San Francisco Giants in 2007. His 4.02 career ERA, six losing record seasons with the Giants and bank account are satisfied, however. Hard to believe this guy won a Cy Young nearly a decade ago.

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3. Greg Oden

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It's sad to see a guy never really get a chance, but Oden has played just 82 career games since being drafted in 2007 while showing flashes of being a solid NBA big man. However, he has suffered from injuries that have forced him into appearing in just two seasons since being drafted. Well, the 25-year-old looks old enough to retire.

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2. Alex Rodriguez

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I think this one can be unanimous. No one wants to see A-Rod back on the field and his lying, cheating habits are not welcome in professional sports. His contract is up when he's 43 years old, but suspensions due to performance enhancers could make that sooner rather than later.

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1. Manny Ramirez

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Ramirez played in China in 2013 and still desperately wants to come back to baseball, but he's 41 years old. Come on, man, you're approaching actual retirement age -- not really, but I can exaggerate. He was a great hitter in his 19-year career as a 12-time MLB All-Star, but he's past his prime by about a decade.