The retirement of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has brought the focus back to other players that decided to call it quits at the height of their powers. Among the most notable is former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders.
Sanders shocked the NFL world when he retired after 10 seasons of pure dominance. He said during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show that both the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins reached out to him after he announced his retirement, via Ryan Ward of ClutchPoints:
Barry Sanders just admitted on the Rich Eisen Show that he got calls from the Raiders and Dolphins after he retired to see if he'd want to play again.
He also said the Lions “pretty much called every other day” while laughing.
The prospect of teams trying to get Sanders to come out of retirement is certainly understandable. A player of his caliber would have been just what they needed to turn their franchises around at the time.
Like Luck, Sanders had left plenty on the table upon his retirement. He was potentially a season away from breaking the all-time rushing record set by Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton. Although there was plenty of speculation regarding the true nature of his decision, enough time has passed to confirm that he was simply done with the game.
Luck will likely continue to remain the topic of conversation for Colts fans regardless of how the 2019 NFL season shakes out. Meanwhile, Raiders and Dolphins fans will be left wondering how things might have been different had Sanders granted either of their team's wishes.