It happens to everyone. Whether it be age, injury, or circumstance, every pro athlete eventually sees a decline from his or her usual production.
We saw it last year with running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson, a future hall-of-famer, had what was easily his worst season despite scoring 12 touchdowns.
It appears age has caught up to the former MVP, who at age 30, is over the hill for an NFL running back. He no longer has the burst and elusiveness that allowed him to pile up eight straight seasons with over 1,100 yards.
Here are seven players who are destined to experience a decline in production in 2010.
2009 Stats: 83 receptions, 1264 yards, 13 touchdowns
Randy Moss has been simply one of the greatest receivers to ever play in the NFL. He already ranks in the top ten among receivers in career receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
It's hard to believe that Moss has 12 seasons under his belt. Even Jerry Rice, known for his legendary workout regimens, couldn't maintain All-Pro numbers forever. It was at this point in RIce's career that his numbers started to decline.
At age 33, Moss is starting to lose some of his natural athletic ability that made him one of the best ever.
2009 Stats: 95 receptions, 1267 yards, six touchdowns
Barring injury, Hines Ward will play in his 200th career regular season game. That's a lot of wear and tear for a guy with nearly 900 catches who's also the most physical receiver in football.
It will not help Ward that his quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, will be suspended at least four games this season.
2009 Stats: 9 interceptions, 51 tackles, three touchdowns
Darren Sharper came to New Orleans last year seeking a Super Bowl ring, and he got was he was looking for. He is, however, spending his second offseason with the Saints recovering from microfracture surgery.
Sharper will turn 35 this season, and it is unclear how effectively a player his age will bounce back from such an operation.
Most of his interceptions last season came at the expense of rookie or other inexperienced quarterback, and the schedule isn't as kind to him this season.
2009 Stats: 83 receptions, 867 yards, six touchdowns
Tony Gonzalez entered the league at the same time as Darren Sharper, and until last season shared with him the title of being one of the best active players without a Super Bowl ring.
In fact, Gonzalez has never even won a playoff game.
Surely the hunger to win burns inside of him but time is running out to do it as one of the fixtures of a franchise. Gonzalez is as durable as they get at the tight end position, but the wear and tear has to be significant at this point in his career after over 200 games, and 999 receptions.
2009 Stats: 48 tackles, 11 sacks, three forced fumbles
Andre Carter has spent nine seasons in the NFL, and eight of those were as a defensive end. Now the Washington Redskins are switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense, and Carter is being asked to play outside linebacker.
Carter played one season as an outside linebacker with the San Francisco 49ers and it was one of his worst as a professional.
2009 Stats: 331 carries, 1402 yards, 14 touchdowns
Thomas Jones has been one of the more under-appreciated players in the NFL. His signing with Kansas City makes it his fifth team in eleven seasons.
Jones' streak of five straight 1,000 yard seasons ties him with Steven Jackson for the longest active streak in the NFL. Jones, though, turns 32 before the season starts, ancient for a running back, and will be splitting carries with Jamaal Charles.
2009 Stats: 301 carries, 1251 yards, six touchdowns.
Just when it seemed as if the former number four overall pick's career was flaming out after four ho-hum seasons, Cedric Benson burst back onto the scene as he became the offensive centerpiece for a team that won a division title.
Benson wore down during the second half of the season. He missed two games due to injury, and, except for two long runs against the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs, his production dipped significantly as he struggled to average even 3.5 yards per carry, and did not get into the end zone in his last five games.