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While New York City has had plenty of sports heroes over the year, Michael Strahan may have been one of the most popular to ever play in (or technically adjacent to) the Big Apple. During his time with the New York Giants, the defensive end became a fixture on the field; in retirement, he’s remained in the public eye as a TV host.

Although things have worked out for Michael Strahan since he left pro football behind, the former New York Giant has wondered what would have happened if he didn’t call it a career after the 2007 campaign. In his mind, he believes he could have played at least one more season of professional football before riding off into the sunset.

Michael Strahan had a successful NFL career before going out on his own terms

Giants player Michael Strahan prepares to run onto the field to begin a game
Michael Strahan doesn’t regret his early retirement but does feel like he should have played another season. | Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Not every professional athlete gets to go out on their own terms. Michael Strahan, however, did just that at the end of a successful NFL career.

After spending his formative years in Germany, Strahan moved to Texas for his senior year of high school. During that single season on the gridiron, he showed enough talent to earn a scholarship to Texas Southern University.

In college, Strahan took his game to the next level and started terrorizing opposing quarterbacks with incredible ease. When the 1993 NFL draft, joining the New York Giants as a second-round pick.

Strahan started out slowly but eventually established himself as a premier pass rusher with the Giants. He spent 15 seasons in the NFL, piling up 854 total tackles and 141.5 sacks before deciding that he had enough; after helping to defeat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, Strahan retired as a champion in June 2008.

Potentially playing one more season?

While retiring is never easy, Michael Strahan picked the perfect way to go out. He had played 15 seasons of professional football and was able to retire with his health relatively intact and an NFL title under his belt.

Despite that seeming perfect set of circumstances, Strahan has still questioned his decision to retire when he did. While he won’t use the word regret, the defensive end does believe that he should have played another year of professional football.

“It’s reassuring to hear a man who’s accomplished as much as Strahan talk about how doubt is only natural when we’re faced with life-changing decisions,” Dean Stattmann wrote in Men’s Journal. “We will always wonder what would have happened had we gone a certain way, he tells me.”

“I’m always curious, and sometimes, I’m not going to say regret, but definitely think maybe I should have [played another season],” Strahan explained. “Maybe I should have.”

Everything has worked out for Michael Strahan, though

On a human level, it’s easy to understand Michael Strahan’s feelings; when you’ve done something for your entire life, it’s tough to quit cold turkey. With that being said, though, everything has worked out well for the New York Giants great.

While his playing success was nothing to sneeze at, Strahan has become an even bigger star in retirement. He found a home in the NFL media, analyzing the game that made him famous; he also became a fixture on daytime TV, co-hosting  Live!Good Morning America, and what was initially known as GMA Day.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Michael Strahan has accumulated a fortune estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $65 million. Between that, his NFL success, and his television career, it’s tough to have too many regrets about any one decision.