In 1988, Spielman was drafted by the Detroit Lions and played eight seasons with them as a defensive linebacker. He helped the team win two NFC Central titles and was Detroit’s all-time leader in career tackles with 1,138 tackles. He also played in four Pro Bowls and was named the team’s defensive MVP in '93 and '94. He then played for the Buffalo Bills in '96 and '97 where he set a team record with 206 tackles. In '97 he left due to a neck injury, but returned to the NFL in '99 with the Cleveland Browns.
During an exhibition game, Spielman collided with Chicago's Casey Wiegmann and injured his neck. Spielman reluctantly retired in '99. (AP Photo/Charles Agel)