By Danny Cox
Injuries are a way of life in professional sports, and sometimes natural decline just takes its toll on players. Both of those reasons are why two veteran players stepped away from the NFL this week and hung up the cleats for good.
Nnamdi Asomugha to retire as a member of the Oakland Raiders
A couple of years ago, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was one of the premiere free agents in the NFL and hounded by many teams. Now, he’s going to sign with the Oakland Raiders so that he can retire. Back in 2011, Asomugha signed a five-year, $60 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, but 11 years seems to be his cut off point.
The All-Pro began to struggle after signing with Philly and was released after two seasons. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers before the 2013 season, but played just three games before being cut in November.
Concussions cause Brandon Stokley to step away from the Denver Broncos and the NFL
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Brandon Stokley is calling it a career after this season, which is his 15th in the NFL. The 37-year-old Stokley was placed on injured reserve back on Dec. 10, 2013, with a concussion and that certainly helped his decision to step away from the game.
Stokley is just one of 18 receivers in NFL history to play at least 15 seasons and he finishes with good numbers. He has 397 career receptions for 5,339 yards and 39 touchdowns during his time with five teams.
Sean Payton says that Drew Brees is alright and ready to go against the Bucs in season finale
For the first time all season, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was on the team’s practice report. He was limited on Wednesday with a knee injury but back in full on Thursday. Head coach Sean Payton says that “He’s fine. He had a right knee bruise.”
Brees is expected to play and start in the Saints regular season finale this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Detroit Lions look to rugby star Carlin Isles for extra speed
The Detroit Lions, like all NFL teams, are looking for extra talent to put onto the field. No-one quite expected them to look to the United States rugby sevens team for that talent. Carlin Isles has been signed by the Lions’ practice squad as a wide receiver after he had a try out earlier this week.
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said that he is always “looking for athletes.” Isles ran the 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds during his workout with the Lions earlier this week. That kind of speed is welcomed by any NFL team.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.