TAMPA, Fla. -- Carolina quarterback Vinny Testaverde's going to end his career where it began.
The veteran announced Saturday he was retiring after today's game against Tampa Bay, where he began his run as the Buccaneers' first pick in the 1987 draft.
"I feel fortunate to have been able to play for 21 years in the NFL," Testaverde said in a statement. "I have lived a dream and have gotten to leave the game on my own terms."
Well, sort of, but you'll give a pass to a 44-year-old.
He came to the Panthers to be a backup, but at one point this year, he was their best option, as they hoped to shield rookie Matt Moore as long as they could after David Carr imploded. But Testaverde could never string together more than two starts in a row before his body began to fail him. He's been inactive the last two weeks, largely unable to practice.
Unless he adds to his totals today, Testaverde will leave the game sixth on the all-time list in attempts (6,701), completions (3,787) and passing yards (46,233).
He's also eighth on the all-time touchdown list (275, passing Joe Montana this year) and fourth in interceptions (267).
He owns the league records for most consecutive seasons with a touchdown pass, and the oldest connection for a touchdown pass, along with tight end Christian Fauria, and the oldest starter to win a game, which he did against San Francisco earlier this month.
In addition to the Bucs and the Panthers bookends, he also played for Cleveland/Baltimore, the N.Y. Jets, Dallas and New England.