Joe Staley and 5 Other Super Bowl 54 Players That Could Retire
The big dream for every pro football player is winning the Super Bowl. Second to that might be doing so in their final year, allowing them to exit their playing career on the highest note imaginable.
That, or scoring that fat contract that allows them to buy all of the Bentleys.
I’m sure all of that ranks pretty highly for NFL players, but as the 2020 Super Bowl draws closer, it’s likely some of the older veterans will be seeing the writing on the wall.
Thanks to early retirements from superstars like Luke Kuechly, Calvin Johnson, and so many others in recent years, the motivation to keep playing isn’t the same as it once was.
For those guys in particular, they had to walk away from the game despite never winning a ring. They were in their physical primes and were getting paid bucks, yet they still ended their careers due to the physical demands of the NFL.
That could tug at a few other big names after Super Bowl 2020. You can bet on Super Bowl 54 in regards to the final outcome, but depending on which way it goes, any of these big names could opt for retirement in the very near future.
Here’s my personal list of 6 NFL players that could retire following Super Bowl 2020.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
The man known as “Shady” may not want this to be it for his playing career. He’s been a healthy scratch in recent weeks, and Damien Williams has owned the Chiefs backfield.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see Andy Reid make him active for the biggest game of his life, however. Even if he doesn’t, though, McCoy will be 32 years old before next season.
Unless a team suddenly believes he’s the guy to star for their rushing attack, he may find it difficult to get more work. Aging running backs are not a hot commodity, after all.
Mitchell Schwartz, OT, Kansas City Chiefs
This is a little less likely, just because Schwartz is one of the best offensive tackles in all of football and very recently signed a contract extension.
Still, Schwartz will turn 31 this coming summer, and the rigors of the NFL trenches can be tiresome. If the Chiefs win the title like Michael Wynn thinks they will, an offensive lineman calling it quits while he still has a healthy body would not be that shocking.
Terrell Suggs, LB, Kansas City Chiefs
This one stands out perhaps the most. The 37-year-old Suggs can still generate pressure on the edge, but he’s obviously on his last legs due to age and the grind he’s put his body through.
Suggs has been around for forever, and he already won a title with the Baltimore Ravens back in 2012. It’s possible he’d go back to the Ravens for one more year before leaving the game for good, but winning another title would be a proper send-off.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Sanders provides a pretty great NFL story, as he’s still running slick routes at the age of 32 and has successfully bounced back from a torn Achilles.
Sanders has been fortunate to play for three different winning NFL franchises, too, which could allow him to exit Super Bowl 2020 as a two-time world champion.
A free agent this offseason, Sanders might have a difficult time demanding top dollar as he prepares for his age-33 season. After accomplishing so much, it’s also possible he may not want to.
Joe Staley, OT, San Francisco 49ers
The most likely 49ers player to retire is probably Joe Staley. The longtime San Francisco offensive tackle has been a pillar of consistency for the organization and recently admitted there were times he thought the 49ers would never win like this again.
That’s the talk of a man deserving of this kind of magical exit, while few have put their bodies through the ringer like he has.
Staley has suggested he won’t be retiring following the 2020 Super Bowl no matter the outcome, but things could change if he’s afforded the opportunity to ride off into the sunset as a champion.
Richard Sherman, CB, San Francisco 49ers
One other player that could hang up his cleats after a Super Bowl 2020 win might be stud defensive back and pro trash-talker Richard Sherman.
Sherman struggled to keep his composure after the Niners punched their Super Bowl 54 ticket, and this would give him a shot at his second Lombardi Trophy.
While Sherman has beaten the odds after a comeback from a torn Achilles and being jettisoned by the Seattle Seahawks, even he has to know the clock is ticking on his career.
Cornerbacks do not tend to age well in the NFL, while the seasoned pro is set to turn 32 in March. With his skills nearing rapid regression and a potential title coming his way, it’s not crazy to think he exits on his own terms following a Super Bowl 2020 victory.
The top NFL betting sites allow us to bet on the playing futures of Tom Brady and Cam Newton. You were able to wager whether this was it for Eli Manning (it is), too, while pretty much every other situation involving players’ futures is open for bidding.
The props aren’t out there yet, but they totally should be. Early retirement has become an increasingly more acceptable decision in the NFL, and winning a title can sharply alter your perspective in a hurry.
I doubt all of these players will call it a career following Super Bowl 2020, but I’d be a little shocked if at least one of them doesn’t play their final down this weekend.
While you can’t yet bet on this, there are miles of Super Bowl 54 prop bets to target. Refer to the previous link for a little insight, and be on the lookout for even more at your favorite Super Bowl betting websites.