In light of Brett Favre retiring—again—and the disaster that was his final season in the NFL with the New York Jets, I decided to create a list of players who should do whatever it takes to remain with the team that drafted them for the remainder of their careers.
Instead of going out like Favre in New York, Joe Montana in Kansas City, Jerry Rice in Oakland, and Emmitt Smith in Arizona, these players should realize that impressions last longer when you stay with the fans that have cheered you your whole career.
So, here is my list of players who should stay with their current teams for the rest of their careers:
Drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, Tom Brady has been, along with Peyton Manning, one of the top quarterbacks in the league the last eight years.
He is a four-time Pro Bowler (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007), a two-time All-Pro (2005, 2007), a three-time Super Bowl champ, a two-time Super Bowl MVP, Sportsman of the Year in '04, '05,and '07, AP Male Athlete of the Year, AP NFL MVP, NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and the Patriots all-time leader in many categories.
He is one of the most clutch quarterbacks that the NFL has ever seen, and should remain in Foxboro for the remainder of his career.
Drafted out of Tennessee in 1998, Manning has been one of the top quarterback in the NFL over the last 10 years.
He is a nine-time Pro Bowler (1999-2000, 2002-2008), a seven-time All-Pro (1999-2000, 2003-2006, 2008), has three MVP awards (2003,2004, 2008), is a Super Bowl winner and MVP, and is the All-Time leader in Colts touchdowns and passing yards.
He is the face of the Indianapolis Colts, and though he is only 32, should remain in Indianapolis for the remainder of his career.
Drafted out of the University of Miami in 1996 by the Baltimore Ravens, Lewis has been the face of the touted Baltimore defense for the last 12 years.
He is a ten-time Pro Bowler (1997-2001, 2003-2004, 2006-2008), a six-time All-Pro (1999-2001, 2003-2004, 2008), a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, a Super Bowl Champion and Super Bowl MVP.
His leadership on the field has always shown, and at 33, he still has some gas left in the tank. It would be very disappointing to see Lewis play with any other uniform on.
Drafted in 2000 by the Chicago Bears, Urlacher has been the face of the Bears defense for the last decade.
He is a six-time Pro Bowler (2000-2003, 2005-2006), a four-time All-Pro (2001,2002,2005,2006). He was awarded NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2000. In 2005, he was AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and led the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl.
At 30, Urlacher may have a few more years left, and the Bears should utilize them, because he is the face of the franchise.
Drafted out of the University of Miami (Ohio) in 2004, Roethlisberger has been the face of a Pittsburgh franchise that has won two Super Bowls in that span.
As a rookie, he led the Steelers all the way to the AFC Championship. He was awarded NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in '04, and was a Pro Bowl Selection in 2007.
It is still very early in his career, and even though his numbers do not light up the stat sheet, there is no doubt that Roethlisberger is the face of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles out of Syracuse in 1999, McNabb has been one of the top quarterbacks in the league for the last decade.
He is a five-time Pro Bowler (2000-2004), finished NFL MVP runner-up in 2000, was 2004 NFC Offensive Player of the Year, and is a part of the Eagles 75th Anniversary Team.
Though Eagles fans get on his case by saying he has never won a Super Bowl, most teams would give up a lot to have a quarterback of his stature.
Eagles fans should realize that they have a potential Hall of Famer, and let him finish out his career as an Eagle.
Drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2001, Tomlinson has been one of the top running backs in the NFL during the 21st Century.
He has five Pro Bowl selections (2002, 2004-2007), four All-Pro Selections (2004-2007), one MVP award, one Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, various ESPY's, and holds various NFL records, including touchdowns, points, and rushing touchdowns in a year.
He is currently being shopped by the Chargers, which I think is ridiculous. Tomlinson means more to the San Diego community than his stats, and seeing him in another uniform would be a travesty.
Drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1996 out of Syracuse, Harrison has been one of the top receivers in the NFL over the last decade.
He is an eight-time Pro-Bowl selection (1999-2006), has eight All-Pro selections (1999-2006) and a Super Bowl ring. He holds many NFL receiving records, and at 36, should start looking to retire with the Indianapolis Colts.
Drafted by the Ravens out of the University of Miami in 2002, Reed has been one of the top safeties in the league for the length of his career.
He is a five-time Pro Bowl selection (2003-2008), four-time first team All-Pro (2004, 2006-2008), and was once named Defensive Player of the Year (2004).
He holds NFL records for longest interception return (108 yards) and interception yards in a single season. Overall, with only seven years under his belt, Reed should look to stay a Raven the rest of his career.
Drafted by the Steelers in 2003 out of USC, Polamalu has been the leader of the Pittsburgh defense for the last six seasons.
He is a five-time Pro-Bowler (2004,2005,2006,2007,2008), a three time All-Pro selection, and a two-time Super Bowl Champion.
As much as I hate how long his hair is, seeing it in another uniform may be even more upsetting.