Seau could hang them up

Marshall Faulk. Priest Holmes. Junior Seau. NFL royalty for the past decade, three of the NFL's most recognizable names remain in career limbo with training camps opening in less than two weeks.                

Holmes and Faulk are off on their own attempting to determine if they can squeeze another year out of their injury-depleted bodies.

Seau might be willing to return for a 17th season, and has been rumored to be talking to a few teams including Oakland, but there remains a strong possibility that he has played his final game.

An Oakland official confirmed to that nothing is going on in regards to the linebacker.

If he does end up hanging them up, he will likely do so as a San Diego Charger.

The futures of Holmes and Faulk, meanwhile, hinge on the advice of doctors and the willingness to fight through the pain for another season.

New Rams coach Scott Linehan has made it clear he would like to have Faulk back for another season in St. Louis. One of the league's top offensive minds, Linehan actually envisions an increased role for the versatile Faulk. But Faulk's future has been in doubt since he missed the team's June 9-11 minicamp.

He has been working out on his own in California, attempting to determine if two surgically repaired knees can hold up for another training camp, much less a 16-game season. If doctors advise more surgery, Faulk could decide to call it a career.

While Faulk is expected to announce his intentions within the next week, no one knows what to expect from the mercurial Holmes.

After saying in June that the word "r-e-t-i-r-e" wouldn't come from his mouth, Holmes' status has become increasingly cloudy. He suffered head and neck trauma last October, and continues to gather opinions from doctors about the risks of playing another season.

If Holmes hears enough to believe he can play in 2006 without risking long-term damage, he likely will return as Larry Johnson's backup in Kansas City. If not, his five-year run with the Chiefs will come to an end.

"I don't think anybody's going to feel like they got gypped," Holmes said. "I think I gave everybody their money's worth."

When he makes that decision, however, remains anyone's guess.

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