5. Shaun Alexander (2007)
The Seattle Seahawks released Alexander just two years after he won the NFL MVP award. They used their first-round pick on him in 2000 and he proceeded to break multiple records. However, the time felt right for a parting of ways and the Seahawks vindicated their decision. It was one of the toughest choices of Seattle President Tim Ruskell’s career (via Seattle Times).
After a stellar 2005, Alexander’s production numbers dropped. He only featured in 10 games the following season. Then, in his final year, he rushed for just 716 yards. Alexander signaled his desire to continue playing and signed with the Redskins. But Washington released him after just four games and that ended his NFL career. It was a shame but football took its toll on his body.