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Say It Isn’t Seau? Will Junior Seau make a return to the Patriots during the season? Only time will tell.
Seau told a radio station in San Diego that he will keep in shape should the Pats call during the upcoming season. “I‘ll definitely look at it at the end of October or November,” Seau said.
This seems a little ridiculous and repetitive. There have been numerous players who have been retired, or contemplated retirement, only to change course and continue playing.
Briefly, here are a couple of things we’ve seen since Seau entered the NFL:
Football is a sport where the older you get the more your body takes punishment. Players take a beating and pay the price for it. Several players have left early at the peak of their careers, such as Barry Sanders and Jim Brown, who both exited to avoid the physical toll playing in the NFL takes on the body. In contrast, players like Steve Young and Troy Aikman suffered numerous concussions, (Aikman tallied ten), and could be facing difficulties later in life.
So what does Seau have to prove? Sure, he probably wants that elusive Super Bowl ring. He went to two Super Bowls and came within a David Tyree catch of winning one with the Patriots. I’m sure he is more then happy to forget that slaughter in Superbowl XXIX where Young “lit up” the Chargers for six touchdown passes.
However, where do the Patriots stand with all of this? They already have 13 year veteran Tedy Bruschi on the squad and are apparently looking into a return of 15 year stud and former Patriot Willie McGinest. With the lineup of aging stars, the Pats will be one of the oldest teams in the NFL (they were already in the top five last year).
A few nicknames that Pats could use for next season:
And yes, Seau is a standout player. Spending majority of his time around the sandy beaches of San Diego, he ventured to Miami for a two-year run. After signing a one-day contract to retire as a Charger, he quickly rescinded and four days later joined the Patriots.
Seau played a pivotal role during his time in New England. After breaking his arm in 2006, he returned in 2007 during the prefect regular season and Super Bowl run. After another semi-retirement, he came back for the final four games of 2008, replacing an injured Adalius Thomas, totaling more than 20 tackles in the process.
So what does all this mean? If a linebacker goes down during the season, I would welcome a Seau return. If he can produce and keep up with the younger guys, then he could have a strong impact for the Patriots and maybe put them over the top. His leadership and experience could be just what the Patriots need in a playoff push.
Still, sometimes a player just needs to know when to walk away. There are few players who come back and become the superstars they once were. When Jerry Rice had trouble making the Broncos and then retired, it was hard to watch. Emmitt Smith had already broke the rushing record when he left Dallas for a stint with the Cardinals. It can be difficult to leave the game, but that is the decision that has to be made at some point.
Seau has not publicly stated that he is retired. He is still living the dream and waiting for the call. Should the Patriots be the team who picks up the phone remains to be seen. However, there is a feeling in many guts that we haven’t seen the last of Junior Seau.