Old and slow in the NFL means it's time to go.
Tedy Bruschi is the latest example. Bruschi, the longtime New England linebacker, will announce his retirement Monday. He's been a try-hard, effort player for his entire 13 seasons in the league, but it was quite evident the past couple of seasons that the game had passed him by.
He was too slow for the way the game is played now.
Did you see him try and keep up with Redskins tight end Chris Cooley on the long pass in last Thursday's preseason game? It was sad.
Bruschi never had great speed, but he made up for it with his awareness and his toughness. But in recent years, after suffering a minor stroke in 2005, he hasn't been the same.
The Patriots had to know this. Bruschi did too, which is probably why they both agreed to this arrangement.
I used to say I'd take 22 Bruschis for my starting group. OK, 21. Not the quarterback. But you get the point. He was a relentless player and a class act.
He will be missed.
But from a football standpoint, his time had come.
Old and slow, and you must go.