With news that former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch wants to come out of retirement, here are five other players who should do the same
There’s been a lot of talk recently about former Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch potentially coming out of retirement. The Oakland-born Lynch reportedly wants to join his hometown team, the Oakland Raiders.
The storied franchise went through years of abysmal performances before finally posting their first winning season since 2002. They did so on the strength of quarterback Derek Carr’s ascension into an MVP-caliber player.
Following their great season, the Raiders were unable to strike a longterm deal to stay in Oakland and will be moving to Los Angeles in a few years. Perhaps the potential move made Lynch desire to make the last couple of seasons in Oakland more meaningful by giving the Raiders fans a hometown player to root for. Or maybe he just got the itch to don the silver and black that he rooted for as a kid. Whatever the reason is, it would be fun for fans to see beast mode one more time.
Lynch isn’t the only player that fans would be happy to see back in the game. Here are five other guys who should follow Lynch’s lead and end their retirement.
Nov 8, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Jared Allen (69) is introduced before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
5. Jared Allen, DE
The cowboy hat-wearing, mullet-sporting, patriotic Jared Allen was amazing to watch play the game. The Texas native made a name for himself with his ability to take quarterbacks down at an amazing rate. He recorded 136 career sacks, including a career high 22 in 2011 while playing for the Minnesota Vikings.
He also played for the Kansas City Chiefs — who traded him to the Vikings for a first-round pick in 2008 — and the Chicago Bears before ending his career in 2015 as a member of the Carolina Panthers. While Allen never won a Super Bowl, he did get to play in one in his final game. In typical Allen fashion, he made the game fun as he had a gift for his defensive line teammates according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports.
Jared Allen had some special Super Bowl swag for the Carolina Panthers’ defensive linemen, most of whom turned up to Thursday’s final Super Bowl 50 media availability wearing new, matching black cowboy boots.
He then followed that game up with more awesomeness. Allen announced his retirement by literally riding off into the sunset on social media.
While Allen wasn’t himself for Carolina and Chicago in 2015, he was still fun to watch. At 35 years old it’s not crazy to think he could still provide a spark for someone in a limited role. Of course, he seems like he is the kind of guy keeping himself plenty busy without the game, but we can hope.
Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) gestures at the line of scrimmage against the Carolina Panthers in the second quarter in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
4. Peyton Manning, QB
Anyone who watched Peyton Manning during his final season with the Denver Broncos knew it was time for one of the most prolific passers of all-time to hang it up. Manning may have won a Super Bowl in his final game he ever played, but he didn’t look like himself in doing so.
Manning was beat up and missed several games that season. He labored to complete deep passes, but still had what it took to pick teams apart with short, decisive passes. Even as a shell of himself, there were rumors that some teams could be interested in Manning last season should he decide against retirement.
After a year of getting healthy and not taking a hit, he could be closer to his previous form. Manning is just two seasons removed from throwing 39 touchdown passes along with 4,727 yards. The year before that was his best ever as a professional as he tossed 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns to set the NFL record.
He’s now 41 years old, so Manning would need a team capable of blocking very well for him. If he found such a place it would be fun for all. Manning isn’t just one of the best passers the game has ever seen, he’s also marketing gold. Every commercial Manning appears in turns out to be brilliant and his appearance alone would solve all the viewership issues the league had last year.
Jan 1, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) passes the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
3. Tony Romo, QB
Would it count as a retirement if he never misses a season and also never uses the word? Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo recently took a job at CBS after losing his starting quarterback position to Dak Prescott last season. For many Cowboys fans it should be a relief that Romo isn’t going to wear another team’s uniform, but should it be?
Romo was one of the most successful undrafted players ever. Yet the general consensus seemed to be that he was an underachiever — which makes no sense at all. Romo joining a contending team could have been gold as his fans may have finally been able to say “we told you so” if he did win it all.
A team like the Denver Broncos or Houston Texans are just a quarterback away from competing for the Super Bowl and Romo would have been a huge upgrade for either. It’s not too late for him to change his mind and come back to the field, and it would make sense if he did.
For most of Romo’s career he has been compared to the legendary Brett Favre. Growing up in Wisconsin, Romo watched Favre’s Green Bay Packers career and is said to have modeled a lot of his game after the Hall of Fame quarterback.
Perhaps what Favre is best known for is his inability to stay away from the game. He would spend year-after-year contemplating retirement and often just came back to play again. Romo should take a page from Favre and make the next few seasons his annual retirement/un-retirement ceremony.
Nov 26, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) scores a touchdown while being pressured by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Eric Rowe (32) during the third quarter of a NFL game on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
2. Calvin Johnson, WR
Megatron retired too early. Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was the second overall pick in the 2007 draft out of Georgia Tech and next to Marshawn Lynch, he’s the youngest guy on this list at just 31 years of age.
Johnson unexpectedly retired following the 2015 season and was still productive in his last season. During his final year Johnson had 88 receptions for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns. Injuries had been bothering Johnson, but it didn’t affect his play.
Megatron recorded more than 1,000 yards receiving in six straight seasons and seven of his last eight. In nine years total in the NFL, Johnson only missed the mark of 1,000 yards twice, and his lowest year production-wise was his rookie season when he had 48 receptions for 756 yards and four touchdowns.
Simply put, Johnson was un-coverable. He had a rare combination of size and speed. He could beat teams by running past the coverage as well as coming down with contested jump balls. The Lions were able to get to nine wins without Johnson, but surely could have used him in their attempt to win the NFC North as well as in their playoff game. One more year from him would be a lot of fun.
Aug 6, 2016; Canton, OH, USA; Former Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre gives his acceptance speech during the 2016 NFL Hall of Fame enshrinement at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
1. Brett Favre, QB
What un-retirement list would be complete without the king of un-retiring — Brett Favre. He may be 47 years old, but Favre seems like the kind of guy who would get the itch at any moment and say he was ready to go again.
Favre also stays connected to the league. The rocket-armed quarterback was recently shown by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford throwing the ball around some, and he still had some zip on his passes.
Had the G.O.A.T. Brett Favre out throwing today. I asked him to come out retirement to throw a pick to me. J/P cool guy… #TATpic.twitter.com/FljsvBSIXh
It may sound crazy, but as recently as 2015 there were some wondering if Favre would return and join the Dallas Cowboys, who had lost Tony Romo to a broken collarbone. At the time Favre jokingly said he would be interested if there were a rule he couldn’t get hit.
That’s understandable given Favre played 302 games in 20 years. He took his share of beatings, but kept getting back up for more. He even set the record for the most games played in a row. He played all 16 games in every season from 1993 through 2009. His final season was 2010, and he finally proved to be human as he missed three contests that season.
Favre may not be considering coming back, but after hearing Marshawn Lynch might, could it give him the itch? If it did, we can all agree he’d be better than anything the Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans or New York Jets currently have.