Nobody cares.

That's the first thing I was thinking during the Labor Day holiday weekend as all of transactions came down the wire across the NFL.

Sure, people care if there is a big trade, like the one for Sheldon Richardson between the Seahawks and Jets. Or they are least take notice when notable names like TJ Ward and Brock Osweiler get released and then subsequently sign with another team, as both did over the weekend (by the Bucs and Broncos, respectively).

All the other names -- well over 1,000 players in all -- are just names on the internet. Lots and lots of names.

I care, both because I lived it for seven years and because I follow a lot of these players going back to college and am thus intrigued to see who did or did not make each team's roster, but I realize that I'm in the minority as far as that is concerned.

Frankly, the getting released part isn't what I think about or dwell on as it relates to all the incredible football players that were shown the door over the weekend. It's the lack of closure.

The vast majority of those eight-hundred plus players that still don't even have a spot on a practice squad may never put a helmet and shoulder pads on ever again.

Some of them thought that might be the case going into the last preseason game. Others are starting to realize that now, while the rest of them can't fathom the thought that they won't get another opportunity.

It's the strangest thing. You fall in love with the sport in your youth, yet you never really get to have a proper goodbye like so many of your high school and college teammates did.

I still remember the last game of my high school career and the guys in the locker room not wanting to take off their pads because they knew they'd never put them on again. It was a tough, emotional moment for all, but a few of us knew at least we'd get a chance to play the game in college.

A similar scene unfolded like that after the last game in college as well. Pretty much all the guys in there knew it was the end of the line and they could have a moment whether by themselves or with their buddies to really process that reality.

The NFL is rarely like that -- and that's especially true for guys on the bubble.

Unlike the players whose career ended at the lowest levels, a large percentage of NFL players never really have that moment.

Instead, you finish a preseason game or, in some cases, a practice only to find that you are being released. Even then there is no clarity as to whether you will ever have the opportunity to strap it up again.

It's like you never get a chance to say goodbye to your first love or mourn the loss, and I have spoken with several players that have really struggled for a while afterward as a result.

Whether they just can't accept the fact that their career is over and they keep working out or have a tough time finding something else to do with their lives, the lack of a clear end point as well as the uncertainty as to if it actually is the end wears on you.

I was fortunate because I got hurt. While I know how strange that probably sounds, it's the truth.

Before my last preseason game in my final year in the NFL, I made a point to have my wife attend the game, as I was very aware of my tenuous spot on the bubble and the fact that it could be the last time she ever saw me play and I wanted her to be there for it.

It turned out that I herniated a disc in my neck which bruised my spinal cord.

Hearing the doctor tell me that was scary. Hearing him tell me he wouldn't recommend playing football anymore was a relief, however.

It gave me the clarity that a lot of guys never get. I was able to process that it was the end, mourn the loss of not only my first real love but also my identity, and move forward with my life.

How many people can feel thankful about bruising their spinal cord or having a herniated disc in their neck?

Not many to be sure, but I was. Still am, in fact.

And when I read all those names over the weekend, that is what I think about and hope for all those players: a sense of inner peace of knowing it is over, that they did everything they could to extend their love affair with football, and that it is time to move on.

Unfortunately, that is easier said than done.