Will 2009 Season Be Keith Bulluck's Last?

Terry HenryContributor IMay 23, 2009

HOUSTON - DECEMBER 14:  Linebacker Keith Bullock #53 of the Tennessee Titans reacts to defeat in the closing seconds of the game with the Houston Texans on December 14, 2008 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.  The Texans won 13-12.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Hopefully not, but as the 2009 season fast approaches and OTA activities get underway, so do the rumor mills and perhaps one of the well known rumors to circulate this year is the one around 9-year veteran Keith Bulluck and if he'll be around past this season.  

When asked if he thought this would be his last season, the 32 year old Bulluck said, "I think so, yeah. And I have no reason to believe that it isn’t,’’ Bulluck said Thursday. “But I don’t look at it as something that makes me sad, I really don’t. I have seen great players come here and go, players you’d think would finish their careers here and didn’t. But I know how things work, and know it isn’t personal.

“The circumstances for me this year are different. I am kind of approaching this year like it’s my senior year in college.’’

Titans' followers know very well how this team has a history of taking players along for so long and then trading or releasing them at the end of their contract. It's not rare to see many players gone after a second or third contract stint.

Just think about Eddie George, Steve McNair, Derrick Mason and any other of the original Titans and how they were dropped off on the side of the road as they got up in years with the team.  

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Many were fortunate to find other teams to play for but only about half of them go on to continue strong successful careers after the Titans.  The rest may get another year in before having to make the painful choice to end their careers.  

Keith Bulluck has shown no signs of slowing down over the past few years and as a matter of fact is rising more and more as a great leader on this team. 

Hopefully the Titans see that there is still quite a bit of gas in the tank and they don't push him out like a 5th year senior into the world of retirement; although it's pretty certain that there would likely be a plethora of teams looking to take advantage of the dominance Bulluck brings to the defense. 

Looking at the choices Baltimore made to keep Ray Lewis, Tennessee finds itself in a very similar situation.  Hopefully the Titan organization will exercise the same strategic smarts.  With no apparent successor in place, surely this would be the right choice.

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