Barry Sanders is finally opening up more about his controversial retirement from the NFL in 1999.
The NFL community was left astounded when Barry Sanders announced his retirement from professional football at the conclusion of the 1998 season. During his tenure with the Detroit Lions, Sanders earned superstar status by making 10 consecutive Pro Bowls and rushing for over 1,100 yards during each season.
However, Sanders’ perplexing decision to retire continues to baffle NFL enthusiasts to this day. This enigmatic choice serves as a central theme in his new documentary, titled “Bye Bye Barry.” The documentary is currently available to watch on Amazon Prime.
Barry Sanders’ ratings in Madden were so high it allowed him to do crazy shit like this that ruined the integrity of the game – hang on, being told this is actual NFL footage.— Super 70s Sports (@Super70sSports) November 26, 2023
Barry Sanders Shares More Details About 1999 Retirement
Barry Sanders went into more detail on the thought process behind his retirement in an interview on OutKick’s “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich” show.
“To try to answer your question, I think it’s interesting your perspective as a young player and as an older player,” said Sanders. “Most of the time, your perspective does change. Maybe I was too old at 31 to keep playing the game. Maybe I had lost a step. Who knows?”
The iconic running back also talked about his faith and how it helped him throughout his life — including with the decision to retire in 1999.
“I think that’s something that could help you in any walk of life or anything that you’re doing,” stated Sanders. “I think it just kind of gave me a good perspective on the game and on life. My approach to everyday life. I think it was very helpful.”
Sanders finished up his 10-season NFL career with 15,269 rushing yards and 99 rushing touchdowns. He is considered by many to be the greatest running back the NFL has ever seen — and his resume certainly backs up that claim.
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