NFL legend Barry Sanders talks abrupt retirement

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Barry Sanders shocked the NFL world when he announced his retirement from the NFL after the 1998 season.

Sanders made 10 consecutive Pro Bowls and rushed for at least 1,100 yards in each season he was with the Detroit Lions. But the decision to retire still confounds NFL fans to this day. It’s also one of the themes explored in his upcoming documentary, “Bye Bye Barry.”

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Barry Sanders in 2023

Barry Sanders looks on before the game between the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field on September 17, 2023, in Detroit. (Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

The Hall of Famer suggested Monday in an interview on OutKick’s “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich” that he didn’t feel like he had it anymore.

“To try to answer your question, I think it’s interesting your perspective as a young player and as an older player,” Sanders said. “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?”

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Barry Sanders stares

Barry Sanders shocked the NFL world when he announced his retirement from the NFL after the 1998 season. (John Biever/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images/File)

Sanders also touched on his faith and how it helped him in football and off the field.

“I think that’s something that could help you in any walk of life or anything that you’re doing,” he told Dakich. “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.”

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Barry Sanders vs Bucs

Barry Sanders of the Detroit Lions carries the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, October 2, 1994, in Tampa, Florida. (Brian Cleary/Getty Images)

Sanders wrapped his career as a six-time first-team All-Pro selection and the 1997 MVP. He was a two-time Offensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team.

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He had 15,269 rushing yards and 99 rushing touchdowns.

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