It's a period of great change within the New England sports universe, as multiple familiar faces are calling it a career.
The Boston Red Sox are saying farewell to longtime great Tim Wakefield and his battery mate, Jason Varitek, while the New England Patriots have nearly 10 players considering retirement this offseason.
A great deal of similarities exist between the retirement scenarios of Varitek and that of Kevin Faulk. In fact, they are quite numerous and striking.
Varitek spent 15 seasons with the Sox, while Faulk was drafted 13 years ago by the Patriots. Both players captained their respective teams, leading by example in the locker room, on the field and in the community.
These two possessed every intangible necessary to lead, and while the stat sheet may not have always glimmered with highlights, there were very few players with more overall value to their team.
Many feel that Varitek was forced into his retirement decision despite retaining the desire to play, and the same will probably be said of Faulk when he comes to his final decision.
“First of all, I’ll tell you this much: My decision is not going to be based on solely me,” Faulk said. “So, that’s one thing I have to weigh in. But at the same time, I’ve played a lot of football. If it doesn’t happen to work out for me later, hey, it doesn’t. I’m blessed, I’m happy, I thank God for everything, but at the same time, I know what I love to do and if it happens, it happens.”
With a crowded backfield and an ever-decreasing role in the offensive gameplan, it's likely that the team will move on from Faulk next season. It sounds as if he's got a few choices to mull over, though, which could include an invite to training camp, or possibly even a coaching role.
“Of course, I’d like to be involved [with] the New England Patriots, let’s keep it at that,” said Faulk. “I’ve been here 13 years playing and if I happen to retire or they don’t happen to bring me back, I’m still going to be a [part of the] New England Patriots. I’m very blessed and fortunate that I have a few options. It’s not just, I don’t have any options, I have a few options. So, it’s up to me.”
Asked specifically if he would entertain the idea of a coaching gig down the line, Faulk remained tight-lipped, but certainly didn't shoot down the notion.
“I’m a football guy,” Faulk said, “so that’s definitely one of the things that goes on, but I don’t want to say that right now, and then something happens. I’m living the life right now.”
For a powerful trip down memory lane I highly recommend the embedded highlight video. A solid six-minutes of Faulk schooling on defenders is sure to brighten any day.
Interested in reading more by this Featured Columnist? Check out more of Aaron Dodge's work on Bleacher Report.
And feel free to "Like" me on The Facebook, your support is much appreciated.