Three NFL superstars to retire, still unsure about Manning



Charles Woodson is among the three stars to retire. Woodson recorded 65 interceptions in his career and returned 11 for touchdowns

RYAN HERRING, Sports Columnist

It’s just a few days after the Super Bowl and it’s finally starting to sink in: football is over. Well, at least it’s over until next fall. Then the grass will be green again and everything will be back to normal.

Although, “normal” isn’t exactly the best word to use, because when the teams step back on the gridiron next season things will be different. There are a few superstars who will no longer be strapping up.

Charles Woodson, Marshawn Lynch and Calvin Johnson have all announced their retirement.  There is also high speculation that Peyton Manning is going to be hanging up the cleats as well after earning his second Super Bowl victory on Sunday.

Just take a second and think about it; those guys will be watching NFL games from their couch next year rather than being out there every Sunday. Weird, right?

They all have had phenomenal careers, and it is sad to see them come to an end.

Let’s start with Charles Woodson. Woodson will go down as one of the greatest defensive players of all time. Calling it quits at the age of 39, he finished his career with 254 games played, 65 total interceptions, 11 interception returns for a touchdown (which is tied for 2nd of all time) and one Super Bowl ring.

On the flipside, we have Peyton Manning on the offensive end that will go down as one of the greatest to ever play the quarterback position. Manning hasn’t officially announced his retirement, but this may have been was his last season. He has the record for all-time passing yardage with 71,940 and most career touchdown passes at 539.

Manning is a two-time Super Bowl champion, was named to 14 Pro Bowls, and won five regular-season MVPs. He also has quite the resume for his acting, from  hilarious “Saturday Night Live” skits and countless of comedic commercials.

Both Woodson and Manning have had two long, outstanding careers and without a doubt will find themselves in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The other two retirements came a bit sooner than expected. Calvin Johnson, “Megatron,” is suspected to officially announce his retirement sometime this week from the Detroit Lions. Johnson is 30 years old, but his short career sure took a toll on his 6-foot-5, 237 pound body.

Johnson has been one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the NFL for the last few years. A combination of great hands, size and athleticism made him almost unguardable. He’s been one thing the struggling Lions franchise could be excited about, and now they have a big void to fill, due to a career full of nagging injuries.

Last, but not least, Marshawn Lynch announced his retirement at the young age of 29 during the Super Bowl. He tweeted a peace emoji with a picture of his cleats dangling from a telephone wire, suggesting that he is hanging them up for good.

A year prior, Lynch played in the Super Bowl while he was receiving compliments as the best running back in the NFL. However, this year was just a big downward spiral for Lynch as he struggled greatly with injuries.

Sources say his teammates are trying to talk him out of retirement, but it seems like Lynch has made up his mind, and as the media can contest, he is a stubborn guy to get any information out of.

All four of these guys have had outstanding careers, and it is a shame to see them have to step away from the game. No matter how long or short their career, all these guys have set records and made their mark on the game. They have earned a tremendous amount of respect.