Nick Hardwick considering retirement during “time of quiet and reflection”

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Chargers center Nick Hardwick turned in a strong season in 2013, starting every week and playing well despite a nagging neck injury that lasted through most of the season.

Hardwick also played in both playoff games, returning for last week’s loss to Denver after suffering a concussion against the Bengals in the team’s postseason opener. Those experiences in a 10th NFL season have left him in a “time of quiet and reflection (to) see where we’re headed” in terms of continuing his playing career. Whatever decision he makes, Hardwick has been sure to savor everything that happened during the season.

“The older you get, the more you know that every game is valuable and every game could be your last,” Hardwick said, via U-T San Diego. “You realize how special each one of the games are and how awesome of an opportunity it is. You just learn to enjoy it more, relax and enjoy the moment.”

Hardwick is set to make $3.4 million in 2014, which is the final year of his current contract with the Chargers. General Manager Tom Telesco said he thought Hardwick played at a Pro Bowl level this season, suggesting that the Chargers would like to wait at least one more year before contemplating a move away from someone who has started 135 games for them since joining the team.