At 41 years old, Adam Vinateri still has it. The kicker for Indianapolis goes out and does his job week after week without complaint and with all the consistency in the world. He could play for many more years.
London Fletcher of Washington and Brad Meester of Jacksonville retired from the NFL this season on their own terms.
Both were instrumental in helping their teams over the years, Meester having spent all of them with the Jaguars. Fletcher bounced around the league from team to team until he found a home in Washington.
Those are the happy stories. Those are the ones of players who play hard and will retire or have retired when they wanted to and not because of necessity.
These players on the list should consider giving up the ghost for one reason or another. I am not saying they will retire, but they really should consider it.
Reggie Wayne, Wide Receiver, Indianapolis Colts
It is ironic that the season where Wayne’s career is in question happens to be the year Marvin Harrison is one of the finalists to go to the Hall of Fame. Wayne is a dynamic player who is not only getting up in age, but is also going to come back from injury. While the Colts' offense could benefit from him next season, is there still gas left in the tank for a swan song or two?
Austin Collie, Wide Receiver, New England Patriots
He has been on and off the roster this season, which may in tern be a godsend for Collie. After many concussions, he still has the dream of playing in the NFL. Who can blame him. While he can still move the chains and run over the middle of the field, catching balls for Tom Brady, he is one hit away from ruining his career and possibly his life.
Ed Reed, Defensive Back, New York Jets
He was injured before the 2013 season, before Houston signed him and Baltimore released him. The issue with having one of the best, hardest hitting defensive backs on your team is the body can only take so much and the skills are beginning to erode. Reed should take a cue from former Ravens and Hurricanes teammate Ray Lewis and ride off into the sunset on his own terms.
Mike Vick, Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles
It is hard to believe that Michael Vick is only 33 years old. After displaying talents in Atlanta, spending time in prison, then getting a fresh start in Philadelphia, there are few players in the league who face the crossroads this man faces next season. In Philadelphia or with another franchise, Vick thinks he can still start. The NFL will decide that. In the meantime, his style of play - at times reckless - could force him out of the league because of injury.
Darren McFadden, Runing Back, Oakland Raiders
When is enough enough? Darren McFadden will enter this offseason with the intention of remaining with the Oakland Raiders or will latch on with another NFL team. McFadden could be LeSean McCoy when in reality, it should be the other way around. McFadden was a two-time runner-up to the Heisman Trophy winner in college and should be the best runner in the NFL. Injuries continue to derail him. At some point you have to decide when you have had enough.