Traditionally Olympic stars have tried the NFL after competing for medals, but this year in Rio, it was the opposite.
Nate Ebner, a Patriots safety since 2012, became the first active NFL player to participate in the Olympics as the team allowed him to represent the U.S. in rugby. Jahvid Best, who played running back for two seasons with the Lions, competed in the 100 meters for Saint Lucia, a island nation in the Caribbean. Best's dad has dual citizenship.
Here's a look at athletes who have been in the Olympics and the NFL. This is not a comprehensive list -- anyone remember Giants quarterback Randy Dean competed in handball for the U.S. at the 1976 Montreal Olympics? -- but gives you a good sense that success in one sport doesn't necessarily translate to pro football.
At the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Hayes won gold medals and set world records in the 100 meters and the 4x100 relay. He played for the Cowboys for nearly a decade (and one season with the 49ers). He won a Super Bowl, became a three-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro on his way to the Hall of Fame.
At the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Thorpe won gold in the pentathlon and decathlon but was stripped of his medals a year later, when it was discovered he had been paid for athletics in the United States, and was not an amateur. The International Olympic Committee officially restored his medals in 1983, 30 years after his death. Thorpe played pro football, baseball and basketball, and was the first president of the American Professional Football Association, the forerunner to the modern NFL.
Carter took home a silver medal as a shot-putter in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The 49ers drafted him that year, and he played nine seasons as a nose tackle, becoming a three-time Pro Bowler and winning three Super Bowls. He remains the only athlete to win an Olympic medal and a Super Bowl in the same season. Carter's daughter, Michelle, won gold in the shot put in Rio.
After starting his career with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL, Walker played 12 NFL seasons with the Cowboys, Vikings, Eagles and Giants. He competed for the U.S. in two-man bobsled at the 1992 Olympics in France and finished seventh.
At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Smith won gold with the first sub-20-second time (19.83) in the 200 meters. He made more history when he put his black-gloved fist in the air, giving the Black Power salute, while standing on the winner's podium. He went on to play two games as a receiver for the Bengals, catching one pass for 41 yards.
In the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Matson won silver medal in the 4x400 relay and bronze in the 400. Later that year as running back for the Chicago Cardinals, he was NFL co-rookie of the year with the 49ers' Hugh McElhenny. In his 14-season career, Matson was a six-time Pro Bowler and seven-time All Pro. When he retired, he was ranked second in career all-purpose yards, with 12,799, trailing only Jim Brown. In 1972, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Bates took bronze the 200 meters. Seattle drafted him in the sixth round, and he made the Pro Bowl five times as a returner during a nine-year NFL career with the Seahawks, Browns, Panthers and Redskins.
After earning a silver medal at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Campbell became the first African American to win gold in the decathlon, at the 1956 games in Melbourne. The next year, he played his lone NFL season, as a running back with the Cleveland Browns, and rushed just seven times for 23 yards. He also had one career reception, a 25-yard touchdown.
Demps won a silver medal in London as part of the U.S. 4x100 relay team. After being cut by the Patriots, Demps played two games at running back for the Buccaneers in 2013.
In 1964, Carr won gold in the 200 meters and the 4x400 relay (which set a world record at 3:00.7). The following year, he was drafted in the fourth round by the Giants. He played three seasons as a safety and cornerback, amassing seven interceptions -- one of which he returned 101 yards for a touchdown in 1966.
Gault was a sprinter and a hurdler on the 1980 U.S.team that boycotted the Moscow Olympics. Gault played 11 seasons as a receiver for the Bears and Raiders, winning Super Bowl XX with Chicago. Gault also was named to the U.S. bobsled team at the 1988 Winter Olympics but did not see any action in Calgary.
At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Hines won gold in the 100 meters race and the 4x100 relay. His 100 meters time of 9.95 seconds was the first official time less than 10 seconds and a world record that lasted 15 years. Hines was drafted by the Dolphins in 1968, but struggled to succeed, even earning the nickname "Oops" for his lack of skill. In 10 career games with the Dolphins and one with the Chiefs, Hines caught just two passes for 23 yards.
Jett won gold as part of the U.S. 4x100 relay team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Jett then spent 10 seasons as a receiver with the Raiders, catching 30 touchdowns.
Johnny "Lam" Jones
At the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Jones helped the United States win gold in the 4x100 relay. Because of his incredible sprinting ability, Jones was drafted second overall by the Jets in 1980. Unfortunately for the Jets, his speed was unable to make up for his stone hands. Jones caught just 13 touchdowns in five seasons.
Cleveland drafted Brown in 1983 but he didn't join the NFL until after winning gold at the 1984 Olympics in the 4x100 relay -- he ran the second leg -- with a world-record time of 37.83 seconds. He then played receiver for the Rams and Raiders with 13 career touchdown receptions.
At the 1948 Olympics in London, Scott won silver in the 110-meter hurdles. The Eagles drafted him that year, and the running back played 28 games in four seasons with the Eagles and Lions, winning NFL championships in 1949 and 1952.
At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Graddy took home gold medal in his team's world record-breaking performance in the 4x100 relay, along with a silver medal in the 100 meters. He played five NFL seasons, three with the Raiders and two with the Broncos, amassing 477 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions.
Roberson (pictured in Cornell sweatshirt) won silver in the 1960 long jump in Rome, losing out on the gold by just one centimeter. He played seven NFL seasons as a receiver for the Dolphins, Bills, Raiders and Chargers, scoring 12 touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl once.
Morris won gold in the decathlon at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, breaking his own world record of 7,875 points (set at that year's Olympic trials), with 7,900 points. In 1940, he played with the Lions (there are conflicting accounts of his stint being between one and six games), but sustained a season- and ultimately career-ending injury.
Davis (center in photo) won gold in the 400 hurdles in 1956 and 1960. He added another gold as part of the 4x400 relay team in 1960. Davis was a receiver for the Lions in 1960 and 1961.
Norton won three golds at the 1959 Pan American Games but failed to medal in the 1960 Olympics. He appeared to have won a gold in the 4x100 relay, but the U.S. team was disqualified when he illegally passed the baton outside of the exchange zone. He played for the 49ers in 1960 and 1961, with zero yards in four career carries. His NFL claim to fame is his sole kick return, which went for 60 yards.
Burton finished fourth in the 200 meters at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Three years later, he was drafted by New Orleans and played five NFL seasons, as a wide receiver for the Saints and the Chargers, racking up 804 receiving yards and seven touchdowns (including the one above thrown by Archie Manning).
Best was Detroit's 2010 first-round pick out of Cal, but his NFL career lasted just two seasons after suffering multiple concussions. Best's time of 10.39 seconds in his heat of the 100 meters in Rio wasn't good enough to qualify for the semifinals.
The U.S. rugby team did not win a medal, but Ebner had some memorable moments, including this score.