25 Star Athletes Who Are Sadly Way Past Their Prime

25 Star Athletes Who Are Way Past Their Prime

Derek Jeter
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Every sport has those athletes who should have hung up the cleats, tennis shoes or skates a long time ago. It's hard to tell a former star athlete that he or she is part his or her prime, but the guys on this list exemplify exactly what it means to be nearing the end of an athletic career.

Let's take a look at 25 [former] star athletes -- some are still stars -- who, unfortunately, are past their prime.

Chauncey Billups

Chauncey Billups
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Chauncey Billups

Chauncey Billups
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Mr. Big Shot is now a nickname from the past as Chauncey Billups hasn't quite been himself since departing from the Pistons in 2009. He hasn't been able to stay healthy and his uncanny ability to hit all the big shots is now gone.

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson
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Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson
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Although Chris Johnson has hit at least 1,000 yards in every season as an NFL running back, he is clearly on the way down in his career. He struggled to gain over 1,000 yards in 2013 and his yards per carry average was the lowest in his career -- 28 years old is considered "close to retirement" for an NFL running back.

Ed Reed

Ed Reed
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Ed Reed

Ed Reed
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Ed Reed used to be one of the scariest hitters in the league at the safety position, but his intimidation factor seems to be gone now. I mean, just look at the guy, he looks like someone's grandfather. Gathering a total of 38 tackles in 14 games during the last two years won't get him too much respect.

Jaromir Jagr

Jaromir Jagr
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Jaromir Jagr

Jaromir Jagr
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Let's face it, Jagr hasn't been the same player since leaving Pittsburgh in 2001 and one of the best players in the league is still trying his hand at the game at age 42. It might be time for Jaromir to hand up the skates.

Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson
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Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson
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While he may have recorded the most tackles in his career in 2013, Charles Woodson is far from his old self. He is playing on a defense that is relying too heavily upon him and he's a year or two away from hanging up the cleats at 37 years old.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps
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Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps
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Besides looking like a caveman and coming out of retirement, Michael Phelps just doesn't seem to have the same talent level that he had in the past three Olympic games -- his performance has been slowly regressing.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
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Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
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Many people would argue with this one, but Kobe Bryant is not the player he used to be. Once he comes back, he will be relied on less and his health is a serious issue. He hasn't been able to play 82 games in a season since 2011. It's sad to see the Black Mamba's career end because of injuries.

Steven Jackson

Steven Jackson
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Steven Jackson

Steven Jackson
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Steven Jackson had rushed for over 1,000 yards in every season -- except his rookie year -- before the 2013 campaign. However, his season was shortened due to an injury and he racked up just 543 yards and six touchdowns with the worst yards per carry average of his career. The 30-year-old running back is trending downward.

Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard
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Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard
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Howard was once one of the most prolific home run hitters in MLB. However, he hasn't quite been healthy lately and it seems like his career has taken a turn for the back-nine. As a 26-year-old slugger in 2006, Howard hit 58 home runs and drove in 149 RBI. It's crazy to see how much he has fallen off, hitting just 34 homers in the last three seasons combined.

Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan
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Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan
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Donovan is considered old for a soccer player and apparently too old to make the United States World Cup squad. Many people are still outraged that one of the best male soccer players in U.S. history was left off the roster, but he is clearly nearing the end of his career.

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki
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Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki
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Another guy who's stats really haven't dropped off too much, Dirk Nowitzki just can't really stay healthy. Before the 2013-14 season, he hadn't played 80 games in any year since the 2009-10 season.

Michael Vick

Michael Vick
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Michael Vick

Michael Vick
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Many people think that Vick should just retire from the game while he still has some of his pride left. He hasn't been the same dual-threat quarterback since his Atlanta Falcons days before the dog-fighting controversy.

Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala
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Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala
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Averaging under 10 points per game for the first time since his rookie season, Andre Iguodala is a member of the Golden State Warriors for his leadership and ability to be a solid role player. He was once a star with the Sixers, but those days are long gone.

Antonio Gates

Antonio Gates
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Antonio Gates

Antonio Gates
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Heading into the 2014 NFL season as a 34-year-old tight end will be a tough thing for Antonio Gates to face. He was once one of the most electrifying and athletic tight ends in the league, but he is far from his 100-plus catches and 1,000-yard seasons.

Carson Palmer

Carson Palmer
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Carson Palmer

Carson Palmer
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Sure, Palmer threw for over 4,000 yards and 24 touchdowns in the 2013 NFL season with the Cardinals, but he's not quite the same player who played for the Bengals from 2004-2010. Palmer might be nearing his time for retirement.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods
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Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods
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Tiger still has a chance to win a few more majors before calling it quits for a career, but the fact that he can't stay healthy and he hasn't won a PGA major championship since 2008.

Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki
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Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki
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With over 4,000 career hits between his time in Japan and MLB, Ichiro has been one of the most successful batters in baseball history. However, he hasn't hit over .300 in a full season since 2010.

Vince Carter

Vince Carter
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Vince Carter

Vince Carter
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For the first 11 years of his career, Vince Carter averaged under 20 points per game just twice and he was known as the best dunker in the game -- every game he played in was a must-see contest. However, he has no leap left in those aging legs and he just shoots three pointers for the most part. Sad to see the great leaper deteriorate like this.

Paul Konerko

Paul Konerko
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Paul Konerko

Paul Konerko
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With a career .280 average with 436 homers and 1,401 RBI, Paul Konerko can say he had a pretty successful career. However, he is now a bench player for the White Sox and is hitting just a mediocre .171 with the team.

Ray Allen

Ray Allen
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Ray Allen

Ray Allen
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Ray Allen will go down as one of the best three-point shooters of all time when he ends up retiring, but he's far past the point of mass production. You can count on him for a big three-point make here and there, but the 20-point games are a thing of the past.

Jason Giambi

Jason Giambi
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Jason Giambi

Jason Giambi
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I can still remember the days when Jason Giambi was crushing home runs with the Yankees and Athletics earlier in his career, but he's still holding on to baseball for dear life. Since 2009, Giambi has just 31 total home runs and hasn't hit above .260 for any season since. He also hasn't played in over 130 games since 2008.

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter
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Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter
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Kind of like how it was hard to put Kobe on this list, it's hard to put The Captain on here as well. Jeter knows it's the end of his career and he's past his prime because he announced he would be retiring at season's end -- even though he should have probably retired two seasons ago.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett
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Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett
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Remember when Kevin Garnett was the most feared and tenacious big man in the game when he played for the Timberwolves? Those days are long gone. He played in just 54 games and averaged just 6.5 points per game -- his lowest points per game average of his career by far.

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
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Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
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The Truth, like Garnett, posted his lowest season averages of his career with the Nets in 2013-14. He was once the go-to guy in crunch time for the Celtics, but he is just getting too old.

Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols
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Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols
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Although Pujols is having somewhat of a resurgent year in 2014, he has been on the way down for a few years now. There was a time when he was averaging .330 and cranking over 40 home runs a season for the St. Louis Cardinals, but he's more of a .280 with 25 homers type of guy now with the Angels.

Connor Muldowney is the Content Associate 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 connor.muldowney@rantsports.com.


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