Unretirement is the latest craze in the NFL.
This offseason has already seen Zach Orr, Jay Cutler, and Branden Albert cut their retirements short, while popular running back Marshawn Lynch returned to the league after a one-year hiatus.
With that in mind, here are four more former NFLers we wish would return to the gridiron:
Ideal landing spot: Broncos
Romo led the exodus to the broadcast booth, but in a mild surprise, Cutler was the first to land another quarterbacking job. Like Cutler, Romo should keep his phone lines clear and jump at an opportunity to return.
He may be older and more weathered than Cutler, but an ideal scenario for Romo’s return still exists.
The Denver Broncos were expected to pursue the former Cowboy this offseason had he been released, but instead of waiting for Jerry Jones to determine his immediate future, Romo opted for retirement and a gig with CBS. The Broncos have still yet to name a starting quarterback for the upcoming season and boast a roster – outside of the QB position – that’s ready to win now.
Romo might have to make the first call, but he should hit up John Elway’s cell and get the ball rolling on another compelling quarterback return.
Ideal landing spot: Dolphins
Johnson was spotted at Dolphins training camp practice on Monday, leading to early whispers that he may be considering a return to the league to join Cutler in Miami.
Megatron quickly shut that talk down, but the 6-foot-5 receiver would give the Dolphins (on paper) the best chance they’ve had to dethrone the New England Patriots in the AFC East.
Miami already owns a strong receiving corps – led by Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, and DeVante Parker – but Cutler is at his best when paired with a star pass-catcher, as he was with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery during his time in Chicago. A Cutler-Johnson duo could vault the Dolphins to Super Bowl contender status.
Ideal landing spot: Texans
Wilfork joined the latest group of retired players Monday with a funny sponsored video. He may be getting out of Houston at the wrong time, though.
J.J. Watt is back, Jadeveon Clowney’s coming off his best season as a pro, and the quarterback of the future is on board in Deshaun Watson.
Should Watson see any time as the starter this season, it’s possible he could prove to be an immediate fix – a la Dak Prescott in Dallas last season – and Houston just needs competent quarterback play to be a true AFC contender.
Wilfork has his rings, and has nothing left to accomplish after 13 seasons, but it would still boost his resume to win one last time without Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots.
Ideal landing spot: Cowboys
Ware had to leave Dallas to win a ring, but he’ll forever be associated with the Cowboys. He even signed a one-day contract in order to retire as a member of the team.
Jerry Jones heaped praise on his former defensive end during his Hall of Fame induction speech this past weekend, and it’s no secret he’s been in the market for a “war daddy” type of pass-rusher.
The Cowboys’ defensive line has been sapped of much of its talent due to injury and suspension, and it could use a veteran to get them over the hump.
The additions of Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have opened a new championship window for the franchise. It would fulfill a decade-long odyssey for Jones and Ware to win one together.
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)
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