Rather than trying to land a blockbuster deal in a much shorter window than usual, multiple NFL players decided to walk away from the game that made them household names this year. The limbo created by the lockout left many players in poor shape with little time to adjust to the resolution that allowed the preseason to begin this week. Others just couldn't find a team willing to spend the money to retain their services. Certain teams decided the conditions of the post-lockout world were more conducive to rebuilding their teams rather than reinventing them. Retirement became a better option for some players than signing a low-ball deal with a team having little to no chance of making the playoffs this season.

The huge free agent pool teams had to choose from this year created a climate where player trades were outnumbered by acquisitions. Some of the bigger names were easy to get lost in the mix of available talent. Salary cap concerns were also likely a factor in causing some players to go out to pasture.

For Former Cincinatti Bengals Quarterback Carson Palmer, it was easier to leave the team and the sport for good than it was to deal with the team's management. Having one of his top targets in Chad Ochocinco get shipped off to play in New England could have also helped speed his departure. Palmer was not exactly in the prime of his career, but he also wasn't completely shot, either.

A bigger surprise was 27-year-old Linebacker Channing Crowder hanging up his cleats. The Miami Dolphins drafted Crowder in 2005, and he was slated to make $2.5 million with the team this year. They released him instead. He reportedly visited New England for a physical before making his final decision, but there's no word that his exit is injury or health related. As a Dolphin Crowder recorded 469 tackles (343 solo). The Patriots are still in search of a new linebacker or two after releasing Tully Banta-Cain, but Crowder is off the market. Crowder is confident that leaving the league is his best choice and told local Miami news outlets that he saved most of the money he's earned in the NFL over the years.

Right Tackle Damien Woody quit the NFL earlier this month after 12 seasons as an offensive lineman. He has a geniune backup plan, though. He's set to join ESPN as an NFL studio analyst. The former Jets, Lions and Patriots player is known for his quick wit and formidable size. He spent his last three years with the New York Jets. Woody was drafted by the Patriots in the first round out of Boston College in 1999. He helped New England win two Super Bowls. This year he might watch and comment on them wining another one from the broadcast booth.

Polarizing Receiver Randy Moss had his share of ups and downs in the NFL, but there were at least two teams willing to sign him this season. Some saw his retirement announcement as a play to increase the offers coming his way, but when the Eagles and Patriots had talks with him none of the contracts they presented were appealing enough to prevent his leaving the league completely. Moss couldn't find a home after the Patriots let him go and replaced him with Deion Branch, but his teammates had nothing but nice things to say about Moss when he departed the squad. Moss himself showed great respect for his old team and likely would have been ecstatic to play for them again if they really needed him to. Signing Chad Ochocinco made that prospect much less likely, though. The Eagles were still showing interest in Moss even after his retirement announcement, but their recent signing of Ex-Giant Steve Smith pretty much eliminated any shot of Moss coming back this year.

Another NFL Retiree, Jerry Rice, will work with ex-Patriots Coach Bill Parcels at ESPN this year. Rice left the league a long time ago at the end of a very lucrative and long career. He ripped Moss for leaving so much on the table when he heard of Randy's retirement. Another NFL analyst will leave his media post for the field of play as one of the only players to actually vacate retirement since the lifting of the lockout. Tiki Barber had a positive workout with the Miami Dolphins and flirted with the possibility of signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but nothing is set in stone for the running back just yet.

The lockout resolution hashed out multiple contentious issue, but one problem still looming is how to take care of retirees. There is an ongoing lawsuit led by Hall of Famer Carl Eller that seeks to arrange for the NFL to share billions of dollars in yearly revenue with retirees as well as active players. If the suit is successful this year's retirees could wind up collecting cash without even having to play a single snap.


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