2004 was the year I graduated from high school.
Shortly before I graduated, the Arizona Cardinals selected Larry Fitzgerald with the third pick in the draft.
He comes back for his 17th season in the NFL this year.
The first pick in the draft, Eli Manning announced his retirement last Friday.
Meanwhile, along with Fitz, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger remains with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The NFL and father time never stop moving forward, but it is unbelievable to see four players in this day and age spend 16 years with one team.
It also begs the question, when is the right time to move on.
The Giants clearly waited too long on Eli, as they have maxed out five wins over the last three seasons.
The Chargers were supposed to be Super Bowl contenders in 2019, but they bottomed out again.
Since 2015, they have two winning seasons.
Much of that is outside of Rivers control, but what they say about the definition of insanity is true.
Of course, there is the other side of that coin.
At least Eli and Rivers gave you a chance. They had a history of success and a precedent of playing well.
The unknown is just that, unknown.
Sure, Daniel Jones may be the next great quarterback. Or, maybe he is just a Jameis Winston type who throws a bunch of TD’s and turns the ball over a ton.
Maybe Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert can take the Chargers into the next decade, but it is easy to say and harder to do.
That’s the hard part, when is it the right time to move on from a cornerstone of the franchise.
Eli’s play had declined and the Giants were going nowhere. Even with two Super Bowl wins under his belt, the Giants could not go into a fourth consecutive season with their third head coach and Eli under center.
The Chargers did not want to go that much longer, at least it seems that is the direction they are headed. They are taking the plunge now, sitting at sixth in the draft with options ahead of them.
Other teams have decisions as well.
Obviously Tom Brady is in a class all himself, but that will be something interesting to watch.
Drew Brees in New Orleans.
Cam Newton in Carolina.
The face of a number of franchises could be very different in 2020, this could be the new NFL.