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5 NFL Veterans on the Verge of Retirement

5 NFL Veterans on the Verge of Retirement

Tony Gonzalez Atlanta Falcons
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

It’s always interesting looking back on the careers of some of the game’s great veterans. Every year a few more decide to call it quits after long and successful careers. Tony Gonzalez, Jordan Gross and Rashard Mendenhall were three notable names who hung up their helmets for good this past year. These five NFL veterans could very well be entering the final seasons of their respective careers.

5. WR Santana Moss, Washington Redskins

Santana Moss Washington Redskin
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

5. WR Santana Moss, Washington Redskins

Santana Moss Washington Redskins
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

While he never received the attention of someone like Terrell Owens, Moss has had an extremely productive career, amassing 722 catches for 10,167 yards and 66 touchdowns. However, his 2013 season with Washington was his least productive in a decade. With the Redskins bringing in DeSean Jackson to a receiving corps already boasting Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed, Moss could see his role diminish even further.

4. S Adrian Wilson, Chicago Bears

Adrian Wilson Chicago Bears-Training Camp
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

4. S Adrian Wilson, Chicago Bears

Adrian Wilson Chicago Bears-Training Camp
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The five-time Pro Bowler often languished in obscurity with the Cardinals, never receiving the national attention he deserved. After 12 years in Arizona, Wilson joined New England last year but never appeared in a game. Wilson signed with the Bears this offseason, and it remains to be seen what his role will be in Chicago’s plans. He will be a veteran locker-room presence, but beyond that, Wilson’s days of being a key contributor are likely over.

3. CB Champ Bailey, New Orleans Saints

Champ Bailey Denver Broncos
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

3. CB Champ Bailey, New Orleans Saints

Champ Bailey Denver Broncos
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

If Bailey wasn’t the greatest cornerback of the 2000s he was certainly the most consistent, making the Pro Bowl in all but one season during that decade. But injuries and age have finally begun to take their toll. He was limited to just five games in 2013 and failed to record an interception for the first time in his career. Bailey will look to close out his career with the Saints by capturing that elusive Super Bowl ring.

2. S Charles Woodson, Oakland Raiders

Charles Woodson Oakland Raiders-OTA
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2. S Charles Woodson, Oakland Raiders

Charles Woodson Oakland Raiders-OTA
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Woodson has had one of the most successful careers in football history. He won the Heisman Trophy in college, has been both Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the NFL and he has won a Super Bowl. Back with the Raiders for the second time, Woodson is likely nearing the end. While he started in every game in 2013, he is clearly not the player he once was.

1. S Ed Reed, Free Agent

Ed Reed New York Jets
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

1. S Ed Reed, Free Agent

Ed Reed New York Jets
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

One of the greatest playmakers in NFL history, Reed was the backbone of some great Baltimore defenses. But injuries have lessened his abilities in the later part of his career. Reed split time between the Jets and Texans in 2013, and he is currently a free agent. It would be a surprise if someone didn’t pick up Reed out of respect for his career accomplishments, but it looks like the end is near for one of the greatest ball hawks in NFL history.

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