Six Bay Area athletes who should follow Jason Witten, attempt comeback

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Jessica Kleinschmidt
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Six Bay Area athletes who should follow Jason Witten, attempt comeback originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

Jason Witten announced he will end his retirement after a year and return to play football, the Cowboys announced on Thursday via Twitter

This will mark Witten's 16th season in the league and with Dallas. 

The 11-time Pro Bowler is trying to make a comeback which is something to look forward to, and I respect the enthusiasm. But doesn't it give you warm fuzzies to know this could start a trend for others to return?

Let's take a look at some Bay Area legends that we would be very excited to see give the game a second chance.

Marshawn Lynch

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When Marshawn Lynch tweeted a cryptic photo of some cleats hanging on a phone line and a peace symbolic emoji, people weren't sure it was actually over for him, but he confirmed "he was done" -- he was going to retire after the 2015 NFL season after six seasons with the Seahawks. 

But wait ...

Lynch was then acquired by the Raiders in April of 2017 -- the Oakland native would return to the Bay Area. 

At the moment, we don't know if Lynch will return to the Raiders, or football altogether and the team still isn't sure what to do with the five-time Pro Bowler with his contract expiring next month.

Still, he's the type of guy worth waiting for. 

Bartolo Colon

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So, Bartolo Colon hasn't retired -- thank our lucky stars for that. But perhaps one day he will.

Across 21 seasons, the 45-year-old has four All-Star selections and an AL Cy Young Award he earned back in 2005 where he was also in MVP talks. He spent two seasons with the  A's where he earned one of those All-Star honors and was once again in talks to earn yet another Cy Young Award.

You should all join me on this train when I say Colon should never retire -- but if that day does come could you imagine him attempting a comeback? Sign me up.

Also, someone please sign him -- he's a current free agent -- and ahem, we know he looks good in that green and gold.

Patrick Willis

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When five-time All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis decided to retire after the 2014 season, many were surprised -- but he felt it was the right time as he said in an interview with Matt Maiocco.

"I believed in myself before anyone else saw it. I never put that in anybody else's hands. So for me, it was the right time."

Still, he's keeping in shape and still in the industry offering up his expertise with "CoachTube," an online training course that teaches individuals basically how to be a linebacker.

He looks like he could still play.

Rickey Henderson

We already know what it would look like if Rickey Henderson were to announce he was coming back. It would look like this:

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Henderson is an Oakland native and spent 14 seasons with the Green and Gold across his 25-season illustrious career. He has 10 All-Star selections, two World Series championships, stolen like a million (1,406) bases, and he has a place in Cooperstown.

He still does guest coaching spots with the team and you know they would welcome him with open arms. 

Barry Bonds

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Speaking of the Bay Area welcome ...

Barry Bonds -- perhaps you have heard of him: Hit 762 career home runs -- a lot of them into McCovey Cove, 14 All-Star selections, two batting titles, and he's a seven-time MVP.

Ringing any bells?

If you've seen the guy recently, you can tell he's still in amazing shape. And the Giants just recently retired his number -- perhaps to have it for safe keeping if he changes his mind?

OK, so that's farfetched, but we can all dream, right?

Baron Davis

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When the Warriors acquired Baron Davis in 2005, a gorgeous backcourt was formed with Davis and Jason Richardson leading the way. He was also very happy to be back in California. 

The two-time All-Star didn't get those selections with the Warriors, but he was part of the "We Believe" movement that was the strongest group of Dubs since before the recent Steph Curry-led dynasty. 

Across his career, Davis averaged 16.1 points and 3.8 assists per game.