Tedy Bruschi made his decision to retire official Monday, but did he make it final?
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been known to sign idled veterans during the season when needs arise. Last year, he summoned Junior Seau in December, when the battered Patriots required linebacking help for a playoff push.
Would Bruschi, who spent all 13 years of his career with the Patriots, consider a similar arrangement?
"Bill and I had this conversation," Bruschi said at his farewell news conference at Gillette Stadium. "We had a great conversation [Sunday]. I don't know if the answer to that one was 'Don't call me.' I think if I was in a different situation there would be a different answer to that. I think if there was more that I wanted to achieve, to come back and do more, I would welcome that."
Seau played the final four games and started two. He made 29 tackles, including 10 in the season finale.
But we should remember Bruschi, from a Boston Herald story last summer on Brett Favre's hemming and hawing, had this to say about coming to terms with retirement:
"I would take that responsibility as a player. As a player, the decisions you make, you have to realize the ramifications of them. When you say you're going to hang it up, that's got to be your [final] decision. If anything, I'm learning from this. Certainly, when my time comes, I'm going to take my time."
Bruschi sounded at peace with his decision. He said he was "fulfilled" with three Super Bowl rings and an inspirational legacy that had Belichick choked up during Monday's announcement.