Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/18/14
Nick Hardwick had his hands full this week. He lugged different team awards from his Chargers Park locker, one a cinder block with a lightning emblem painted on, another a framed plate. Into the parking lot, he carried game balls from different weeks this season. A season in the books. An offseason to decide if it's his last. The Chargers center, husband, and father of two sons savored his 10th year in the NFL. No one forgot Hardwick's value to the team, but it seemed everyone was reminded, as he started every game as the constant to seven different starting offensive line arrangements. Teammates voted him Lineman of the Year. He was one of three chosen Most Inspirational. Ten wins, eight losses, the daily grind with teammates — Hardwick appreciated it all. In the coming weeks, he plans not to rush what he called a “time of quiet and reflection (to) see where we’re headed." One season with a $1 million roster bonus remains on a three-year contract if he continues playing. “The older you get, the more you know that every game is valuable and every game could be your last,” Hardwick, 32, said. “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. “I think when I was younger, I wanted it to be over. You're so anxious and so stressed and so wound up about the whole process that it's hard to really enjoy it. The older you get, you know you're going to perform well. You know you're going to do your job, so you can just relax and enjoy it.” Hardwick has talked this year about the NFL's addictive property. There are highs. There are lows. The same thing that keeps fans coming back, brings back him.
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