The nature of pro sports these days is that it's rare for a player to spend an entire career with one team. Still, there are plenty of examples of great players and their primary teams parting ways amicably — occasionally in iconic, Derek Jeter/Yankees fashion.

Just not with the Vikings.

Six of the greatest offensive skill position players of the past generation of Vikings are: Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Daunte Culpepper, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Brett Favre. None of the six went out in a blaze of glory. Let's take a brief look back, ranking the six in order of their bad endings:

6) Carter: He was so close to riding off into the sunset. After 12 great years and more than 1,004 catches with the Vikings, he announced in May 2002 that he was retiring. But the lure of the game called him back for one more go-round that fall … and he caught just eight passes … with the Dolphins. A strange final chapter in a great career that started in Philadelphia but was remembered for his time in Minnesota.

5) Favre: If the 2009 NFC title game had played out differently, Favre could have retired for good. Instead, the Vikings lured him back for one more year, which ended with a team flameout and with Favre laying on the then-cold TCF Bank Stadium turf.

4) Harvin: A brilliant player but a headache from the start, Harvin's tumultuous Vikings tenure came to a close after the 2012 season, when Minnesota dealt him to Seattle. The Seahawks have since traded him to the Jets, so Minnesota can credibly say, "It's not us, it's him."

3) Culpepper: He passed for 4,717 yards, 39 TDs and just 11 INTs in 2004, leading the Vikings to the playoffs and a postseason win over Green Bay. He looked poised to be a franchise QB for years to come. Then 2005 happened — the Love Boat and a shredded knee. By 2006, new coach Brad Childress and the Vikings had moved on, and Culpepper was never the same.

2) Moss: The Vikings grew tired of the talented but mercurial Moss and traded him after the 2004 season. They brought him back for the disaster of 2010, only to dump him again. Two tough exits, one guy.

1) Peterson: Nothing tops Peterson, though. At the start of the 2014 season, it wasn't crazy to think he might spend his entire career with the Vikings and retire as perhaps the most beloved player in franchise history. From that to where he is now is simply incredible. Maybe there's still a chance for the dream scenario to play out, but we highly doubt it.

michael rand