Regardless of who they are and what they've accomplished throughout their career, at some point veterans need to know when to give it up and go out with pride.
As we saw with Brett Favre, the game can ruin your reputation if you disrespect it by not putting in the time and effort like everyone else.
Not to say the following vets did that, but by what they've barely managed to accomplish as of late, it's time to say goodbye.
There's a reason why Terrell Owens hasn't signed with anyone yet this season—teams know he's too old and not worth the risk.
And within the next week he'll be turning 38 years old, so who wants to sign a guy that old after being out all season? Right now T.O. is No. 2 on the NFL's all-time receiving yards list, only behind Jerry Rice.
Other than missing out on a Super Bowl, if sitting in the No. 2 spot behind arguably the greatest football player of all time is not enough satisfaction to retire once old, who knows what is.
Terrell, if you haven't been signed by now, no one is willing to cough up the cash for a closing-in-on-40-year-old WR.
For the Patriots' fans out there, saying goodbye to RB Kevin Faulk for good won't be easy. He's been a member of the team since the 1999 season, is the longest-tenured Patriot at the moment, but is 35 years old.
Even before suffering a season-ending injury early in the 2010 season, the Pats were already cutting down his carries and playing time. With other RBs in fellow LSU alum Stevan Ridley, as well as BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, it's about time Faulk hung it up the cleats.
Right now he may be the starting fullback, but how much longer can we expect him to continue in that role? Sure, he's a Patriot and he's a team-first guy, but with New England throwing the ball so much he's not even getting to run-block that often.
Not saying he needs to retire right now, but whenever the season ends for New England, Faulk needs to hang 'em up. Thereafter, though, he would be a perfect RB coach under Bill Belichick.
Mark Brunell's been in the NFL since 1994 and had some really exciting seasons in Jacksonville from 1995 to 2002.
He even had one great year in 2005 with the Washington Redskins.
Since then, however, Brunell has mainly been a backup, has seen limited time, and is 41 years old. Not sure if he's going for George Blanda's record, but at least Blanda was still seeing the field until he retired.
As for Brunell, he's better off becoming a QB coach for the Jets, in which he can work more with Mark Sanchez's development instead of the scout team.
Right now Brunell is serving no purpose as Sanchez's backup, so he needs to call it quits before he becomes an influence on Brett Favre to un-re-retire for the umpteenth time.
When the beginning of 2012 comes around, Derrick Mason will be turning 38 years old. And although he was a rather productive WR for the Ravens in 2010, Mason has been anything but in 2011.
Sure, he's seen action in all 11 games, but he has just 19 receptions for 170 yards and zero TDs.
And being that he's with the Texans, he'll most likely be a part of another playoff team. Houston just got Andre Johnson back, but it's been depleted at QB. The passing game for the Texans is taking a serious nosedive. Mason hasn't done much to alleviate that concern.
By season's end, Mason needs to hang it up because after being traded for a seventh-round pick, that's about as low as it gets in terms of football value.
If Mason returns in 2012, he'll be lucky to repeat what he's barely accomplished this season.
Well, the man did just turn 35 years old, which is younger than Minnesota's QB from 2010, Brett Favre. The Vikings have since gone much younger by giving the nod to rookie QB Christian Ponder, who's played rather well for having limited time to prepare.
As for McNabb, sure, there are some teams who could use his experience, but why bother? First, the Redskins get him for a year and then Minnesota boots him after around a half year's work. He was unproductive at both stops.
He's been given more than one chance to revive his career, but it just hasn't worked out. In his last 19 games, McNabb has thrown 18 TDs to 17 INTs, so from a rookie's perspective that's not bad. However, he's a seasoned vet and has underachieved.
It's time for washed-up McNabb to give it up for good because anyone who gives him another shot is just wasting time.