As NFL cuts get close, we could see some surprising retirements by players who would have been otherwise cut. Case in point: long-time Patriots LB Tedy Bruschi, who retires today. Here are some thoughts on his career; you can see how it (and the career of fellow weekend retiree OT Marvel Smith) compares to others from the league in this post that has all retirements this offseason.
Bruschi, who entered the league as a third-round pick and an undersized linebacker from Arizona, became one of the iconic players in New England’s Super Bowl era. He made just two Pro Bowls in his 13-year career, but he was a determined playmaker on all three of New England’s Super Bowl champs. He was also one of the few links between New England’s ’96 Super Bowl appearance and the glory years of the 2000s. Even more, he overcame a stroke in 2005 and returned to the field to play three more seasons. Bruschi will get some Hall of Fame consideration, but in our eyes he’s just below that level, even considering his significant contributions to the best team of the decade. But he still had a wonderful career all in one place, which is a sterling legacy to leave.