Not all players walk away at the top or even at the right time. Some hang on a little too long.
John Offerdahl was an NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and made the Pro Bowl all five of his first five seasons in the NFL. Then injuries began to creep in.
In 1991, Offerdahl played in only six games. He returned in 1992 and managed to play in eight games before hitting IR. Then in his final season of 1993, He played in nine more games but statistically he didn’t come close to his previous years. He probably should have walked away after the ’92 season.
Zach Thomas didn’t want to leave the game and he hung around the NFL for another season after the Dolphins released him in 2007. That too was not a smart move by Bill Parcells and Thomas should have been given the opportunity to retire, we don’t know if that was an option or not.
The last image of Thomas in Miami was him removing his parking placard as he left the practice facility. In 2008, Thomas went home to Texas and joined the Cowboys where he played in 14 of 16 games. Statistically he did o.k. notching 65 solo tackles and a sack.
In 2009, Thomas tried to make it with the Kansas City Chiefs but it was a no-go. His finaly season in the NFL wasn’t a bad one and maybe it was enough to pad his stats to eventually get him into the HOF.