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Yet, Foote still decided to leave as a two-time Super Bowl champion. He thought he could have a bigger role somewhere else since he was sharing time even while starting for the Steelers.

“I paid the price for that,” said Foote, who now characterizes his move as “just selfish.”

Foote went to his hometown Lions, who were coming off an 0-16 season. They won only two games the season he was there.

After those preseason calls to his old teammates in Pittsburgh, the reality of his decision to leave really hit him in Week 5 of that season _ when the Steelers won in Detroit.

“I see all those yellow towels,” he said. “I was driving home, and didn’t see nothing but yellow towels in the cars. You see Pittsburgh, the Steelers Nation, represented. And I missed the guys.

“The experience and the winning, and the electricity that Pittsburgh delivers, you can’t pay for it. Money can’t pay for that,” Foote said. “Just being in Detroit and losing, stadium half full, that’s not football. … You know the phrase, everybody thinks the grass is greener. I found out it wasn’t.”

For McFadden, his season away wasn’t miserable. The Cardinals did make the playoffs and he got the chance to see how another organization operated.

But when he got a chance to return to the Steelers, he didn’t think twice.

“Being able to have the opportunity of being wanted and being missed and they’re requesting to have you back was even better,” McFadden said. “There’s no better feeling than that. I wouldn’t change what happened for the world.”

Randle El was talking to three or four different teams after being released by the Redskins, but there was really only one choice for him.

After leaving the Steelers with a Super Bowl title, he’s come back to play for another.

“It’s been great, it’s been special,” Randle El said. “I’ve always appreciated the organization and just the way they run things and what they’re about. … They basically have a criteria. You fit the mold, you can be here. It was good to come back and certainly it’s a blessing for me to be here.”