12up Logo12up Logo

4 Former NFL Stars We Actually Wish Were Coming Out of Retirement

CHICAGO, IL- JANUARY 03: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions during the third quarter of a game against the Chicago Bears on January 3, 2016 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks

Brett Favre sent shockwaves throughout the football world on Tuesday, as a post from his official Instagram account revealed that the Hall of Fame quarterback would return for the 2020 season.

Well, that wasn't the case, as the post was subsequently deleted, with Favre claiming his account was hacked. But those brief minutes of speculation got us thinking, which retired NFL stars would we like to take the gridiron again?

Here are four of the top choices.

4. Calvin Johnson

DETROIT MI - NOVEMBER 26: Wide receiver Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a third quarter touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 26, 2015 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles v Detroit Lions | Leon Halip

When you thought of dominant wide receivers in the past decade, the first name to come to mind was Calvin Johnson, aka "Megatron." The 6-5 pass catcher was a matchup nightmare for opposing cornerbacks, as he became the best red zone target in the NFL. Johnson's shocking retirement in 2016 left fans thinking what more he could have accomplished, and we'd like to see him don the pads and helmet again in order to find out.

3. Tony Gonzalez

BLOOMINGTON, MN - FEBRUARY 01: Former NFL player Tony Gonzalez attends SiriusXM at Super Bowl LII Radio Row at the Mall of America on February 1, 2018 in Bloomington, Minnesota.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
SiriusXM At Super Bowl LII | Cindy Ord

Before Rob Gronkowski, there was Tony Gonzalez, who made a name for himself as the top tight end in the NFL. Gonzalez was Mr. Consistency, as he missed all but two games in his 17 year career. Even in his final seasons, Gonzalez was posting 70+ catches. Imagine Gonzalez coming out of retirement to win that long-eluded Lombardi Trophy. Yes, he's 43, but Gonzalez still has the physique to make this work.

2. Terrell Owens

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 05: NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Owens salutes the crowd during the game between the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at the Wells Fargo Center on May 5, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Raptors defeated the 76ers 101-96. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Four | Mitchell Leff

Terrell Owens is arguably the most polarizing football player in recent memory. Owens was a talented receiver, and he let his opponents know it. Despite being out of the NFL since 2010, Owens has been talking about a potential comeback. We just want to see if he can truly back up the talk if a team gives him a chance.

1. DeMarcus Ware

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 08:  Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Denver Broncos reacts in the second half while taking on the Carolina Panthers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 8, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Carolina Panthers v Denver Broncos | Justin Edmonds

DeMarcus Ware is an idol among the current flock of pass rushers in the NFL. Ware was a quarterback killer, as he recorded 138.5 sacks and 229 QB hits. Ware teased fans with a comeback earlier this year, thanks to his buddy Jason Witten returning to the Dallas Cowboys. NFL fans would be in for a treat seeing Ware don a Denver Broncos or Cowboys uniform again.