Lions legend Barry Sanders has no regrets despite ‘clumsy’ retirement
Former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders shocked almost everyone when he decided to hang up the cleats on the eve of training camp in 1999 after just 10 years in the NFL. It was a bit of a clumsy retirement, and it put Sanders and the Lions at odds for many years.
Sanders was asked if he could go back to 1999 would he change anything and he said even though it might not have been handled the best he has no regrets with what he did.
“I’m not sure,” Sanders said via the Detroit Free Press. “Being an old, wise guy that I am, I’m careful about saying what things I would do different. You can always look back and see things that you could change.
“But all in all, yeah, the retirement part was a little clumsy. But the person that I was, I probably wouldn’t (change anything). That’s really how I was going to handle it, right? So I don’t have that many regrets, as far as that.”
Even though his career could have been longer, it was clear he was ready to be done, and he made sure he went out in his own terms. Sanders rushed for 15,269 yards and 99 touchdowns and had a super impressive five yards per carry.
He was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2004, and since that point, he has gotten back on good terms with the Lions. Even with how it ended, he still goes down as one of the best players in team history.