Retirement usually means the end of an NFL career, but not always. Several superstars in NFL history have retired at some point, only to come back later for another run. Here are five notable players who came of retirement for another chance to play in the NFL.
NFL superstars who came back to play in the NFL again after retirement
#1 - Eric Weddle
Eric Weddle is the most recent retired NFL superstar to make a comeback. The Los Angeles Rams pulled Weddle out of retirement and convinced him to join the team prior to the 2021 NFL Playoffs. In Week 18 against the San Francisco 49ers, the Rams lost safety Jordan Fuller for the rest of the season due to injury. They could also be without safety Taylor Rapp as he deals with a concussion.
Eric Weddle will provide the Rams with depth in their defensive back position, which they need right now due to injuries. He last played for the Rams in 2019 before retiring, when he appeared in all 16 games and recorded 108 total tackles.
#2 - Randy Moss
Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss retired from the NFL following the 2010 season. After one year away, he came out of retirement and joined the San Francisco 49ers for one more season. He had one of the worst statistical seasons of his career, recording just 28 receptions for 434 yards and three touchdowns. He retired again at the end of the season.
Randy Moss is one of the best wide receivers in the history of the NFL. He spent the majority of his career with the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots, while also making stops at the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers. He ranks fourth in NFL history with 15,292 receiving yards and ranks second with 156 receiving touchdowns.
NFL superstars who played again after retirement
Here are five NFL superstars who came out of retirement for another run.
#3 - Marshawn Lynch
Following the 2015 NFL season, Marshawn Lynch announced his retirement from the Seattle Seahawks. After taking a year off, he returned to the NFL for the 2017 season, signing with the Oakland Raiders. He appeared in 21 games across two years with the Raiders. Lynch then played one last game for the Seahawks in the 2019 season before retiring again.
While his best years were with the Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch also spent time with the Raiders and Buffalo Bills. The best stretch of his career was a four-year run between 2011 and 2014 with the Seahawks. He made the Pro Bowl in all four seasons, while eclipsing 1,200 rushing yards and ten touchdowns in each of them.
#4 - Brett Favre
Brett Favre spent 20 amazing years in the NFL, with 17 of them for the Green Bay Packers. He retired from the team following the 2007 season, but returned to play for the New York Jets in the 2008 season. He retired again after the season, and again came out of retirement to play for the Minnesota Vikings. He would spend two years there before retiring a third time.
Hall of Famer Brett Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. He is a Super Bowl champion and a winner of the NFL MVP award three times. He is the only player in NFL history to be selected as the NFL MVP for three consecutive seasons.
#5 - Deion Sanders
Deion Sanders spent the first 12 seasons of his career spread out between the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. He retired from the NFL following the 2000 season. He will spend three years in retirement before returning for two more seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, where he recorded five interceptions in 25 games.
Deion Sanders is one of the best defensive backs in NFL history. He recorded 53 interceptions while returning nine of them for touchdowns. He also chipped in on offense and special teams, catching three touchdown passes and returning 12 kicks for touchdowns. He is a Hall of Famer and one of the best all-around athletes in NFL history.