6 NFL Players Who Will Have a Harry Potter-Like Career Finale in 2011

Eli Nachmany@EliNachmanyCorrespondent IIIJuly 15, 2011

6 NFL Players Who Will Have a Harry Potter-Like Career Finale in 2011

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    Harry Potter, just released, has received very good reviews thus far—with the last movie, the final chapter closes on a great movie and book series.

    In the NFL, many players are nearing the end of their careers and 2011 could be the last impression these players make on NFL fans.

    Here are six players whose last season will be like Harry Potter's last movie—a success.

Ray Lewis

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    Ray Lewis has been the preeminent middle linebacker of this generation and it's only fitting that he ends his career with a huge season and a deep playoff run.

    The Ravens are big-time Super Bowl contenders for 2011 after reloading in the draft; look for Ray Lewis to piece together a final season that reminds fans why he is the best linebacker in the game.

    Lewis is a sure-fire, first-ballot Hall of Famer and will be motivated by his own legacy in the upcoming season.

Ed Reed

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    Ray Lewis and Ed Reed both deserve to be on this list—after a huge season in 2010, Reed has shown no signs of slowing up at the finish line.

    Despite his season being marred by injury, Reed still managed to lead the league in interceptions, allowing nothing to get in his way.

    Lewis and Reed are both competitors and top-tier players, so look for both to finish their careers with a bang in 2011.

Tony Gonzalez

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    Everyone wants to write off Tony Gonzalez as washed-up and old, but with another weapon for defenses to worry about with Julio Jones, look for Gonzalez to resurrect himself for one last go in 2011.

    The Falcons are a Super Bowl favorite and a Super Bowl ring on this tight end's finger would be a fitting end to a big career.

    Gonzalez is in a perfect situation in Atlanta and he should put up one more excellent year before going out on top.

Donovan McNabb

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    Donovan McNabb suffered through a year-long ordeal called the Washington Redskins in 2010, but it's safe to say that, under the right system, McNabb can be successful one last time.

    Whether it be leading the Arizona Cardinals to a division title and retiring a playoff quarterback or replacing an injured quarterback somewhere midseason and leading a playoff run, the stars seem aligned for McNabb.

    Look for the quarterback to end his career with a bang in 2011—a storybook finish to anything but a storybook career.

Charles Woodson

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    Charles Woodson is one of the best cornerbacks in the game but, as the effects of age begin to take their toll on this defensive back, retirement seems to inevitably loom.

    Woodson (along with teammate Clay Matthews) was the key to the Super Bowl champion Packer defense in 2010 and figures to be one of the most important members of Dom Capers' squad in 2011.

    Look for Woodson to end his career in a big way in 2011 with another huge campaign.

Darren Sharper

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    It's tough to say, but this could be the last stand for Darren Sharper—if it is, look for him to give all of himself in his final year.

    Sharper is still one of the league's better safeties and has a knack for intercepting the ball and making big plays despite his age.

    This defensive back can still produce at a high level and one more year of such production would secure his place in history.