4. Jerry Rice
According to Chron.com, the average length of an NFL wide receiver’s career is just three years. However, Rice played for an insane 20. His decline began in 1999 and continued into 2000. Then Terell Owens broke out as a leading talent in San Francisco and he departed for pastures new. After setting more records than any other player, Rice did prove he could play outside of the 49ers.
After two strong seasons with the Oakland Raiders, he moved to Seattle where he didn’t do much. There was still time to join the Denver Broncos, but he didn’t make their final roster. In the end, he was clutching for the memories of his previous brilliance. Nobody can take his career away from him, but nobody thinks of his latter days either. He would have served his legacy and body better if he didn’t play for so long.