Advertisement

The 2017 NFL All-Retirement Team: Romo, Ware & Co.

From ESPN - August 8, 2017

Last year's all-retirement team was loaded. Peyton Manning. Calvin Johnson. Marshawn Lynch. Nobody's touching that offense.

But the 2017 squad of retirees from the calendar year stands on its own Pro Bowl pedigree.

This stout 26-man roster includes at least three compelling Hall of Fame cases, plenty of Patriots (welcome, Vince Wilfork!) and Cowboys and even one repeat appearance.

The lack of a third cornerback hurts, but maybe Darrelle Revis can still help with that.

From health concerns to lack of attractive job offers, veterans have their reasons for walking away. But their play should be celebrated.

Let's have at it.

Quarterback: Tony Romo

Romo over Jay Cutler would have been an easy call. But it was a difficult decision between the longtime Cowboys QB and Michael Vick, who officially called it quits in May. Romo was a top-10 quarterback at his peak, top-15 on his worst day. Vick's passing held him back. In this offense, Romo has targets and good protection. Feels like Dallas again.

Running back: Justin Forsett

OK, so Forsett's last good season was 2014. But he was really good that year with 1,266 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Ravens. Maybe he's got some shifty speed left to elevate this ground game. And he has help.

Hybrid playmaker: Percy Harvin

The once-breathtaking athlete can line up in the backfield, the slot or on the outside. Harvin made an appearance on last year's team but re-signed with the Bills for a brief stint. He's done now. And when he was on, not many were better.

Tight end: Jordan Cameron

Cameron looked like a budding star in Cleveland after catching 80 passes for 917 yards in 2013. He was serviceable over the next two seasons but concussions forced him out of the game after six years in the league. Cameron's athleticism and size make him a worthy candidate.

Offensive lineman: Doug Free

Free was underrated along the Cowboys' vaunted offensive line, rarely missing a game in seven-plus seasons as a full-time starter. Free is one of three former Cowboys on this list. The offensive line has at least 10 capable retirees, but Free deserves one of five spots. Gosder Cherilus backs him up.

Offensive lineman: King Dunlap

Dunlap had a good run, starting 65 games over eight years and protecting Philip Rivers in San Diego over the last four. Dunlap was not a perennial Pro Bowl but certainly capable.

Offensive lineman: Sebastian Vollmer

The big German spent eight seasons with the Patriots and was a part of two Super Bowls, though he was injured in 2016, his final year. The 33-year-old and former second-team All-Pro slides into a guard spot for this squad. His backup is Kory Lichtensteiger.

Offensive lineman: Chris Chester

With Branden Albert waffling on his retirement according to the NFL Network, Chester slides into this role nicely because of his steady line play. Chester was among the most durable guards in the league, starting 143 games over his 11-year career, with no games missed since 2011. Chester played for the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens.

Offensive lineman: Jake Long

The former No. 1 overall pick was ravaged by injuries, but he made four consecutive Pro Bowls from 2008-11 and should be remembered for his productive days with the Dolphins. Geoff Schwartz is Long's No. 2.

Wide Receiver: Roddy White

So what if he's 35 and did not have a job in 2016? Let's remember the player who posted 10,863 yards and 63 touchdowns for the Falcons. White officially retired in April after not playing in 2016. Andrew Hawkins is his backup.

Wide receiver: Andre Johnson

Defensive end: DeMarcus Ware

Defensive tackle: Vince Wilfork

Defensive tackle: Terrance Knighton

Defensive end/linebacker: Rob Ninkovich

Linebacker: James Laurinaitis

Linebacker: Chad Greenway

Linebacker: A.J. Hawk/Steven Tulloch

Defensive back: Antrel Rolle

Defensive back: Brandon Flowers

Defensive back: Jerraud Powers

Defensive back: David Bruton

Kicker: Josh Scobee

Return specialist: Josh Cribbs

Punter: Pat McAfee

Advertisement

Continue reading at ESPN »