Oldest Active NFL Players by Position

Oldest NFL Player at Each Position 2020

  • Playing in the NFL is brutal to the human body – injuries cause careers to end prematurely. 
  • The average NFL player retires well before the age of 30, which makes these older athletes even more elite.
  • For an NFL player, the average length of a career is 2.5 years.
  • The average age of an NFL player is 26 years old, leaving plenty of time afterward for a second career.
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Football is a young man’s game, but there are still some “old guys” out there playing at a top-level, and given what a tough toll the sport takes on their bodies, it is a miracle that they even exist.

Every position on the gridiron comes with its own specific dangers, with those battling at the line taking the biggest constant hits, but all it takes for any NFL player’s season (or career) to end is one misplaced block or tackle, something the athletes on this list know plenty about.

We take a respectful look at the oldest NFL player who plays at each position on the field and wherever it is possible we add the predictions and odds of their potential output during the 2020 season.

Good luck!

Oldest NFL Players on Offense

  1. Place Kicker – Adam Vinatieri, Free Agent (47)
  2. Quarterback – Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (42)
  3. Punter – Dustin Colquitt, Free Agent (38)
  4. Offensive Line – Andrew Whitworth, LA Rams (38)
  5. Tight End – Jason Witten, Las Vegas Raiders (38)
  6. Running Back – Frank Gore, New York Jets (37)
  7. Wide Receiver – Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (36)

Here are the NFL’s elderly offensive players, some “seasoned” athletes who are by no means finished contributing to their football franchises.

We have broken them down by position:

1. Place Kicker – Adam Vinatieri, Free Agent, age 47

Some team is bound to pick up free agent Adam Vinatieri while ignoring the fact that he’s going on 50, but the celebrity kicker has been in the NFL since the mid-’90s (drafted in 1996) and is a 4x Super Bowl Champion with a career field go make a percentage of 83.8, his longest a 57 yarder.

2. Quarterback – Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, age 42

Not only is GOAT Tom Brady the oldest quarterback playing in the league right now, but he also has the most Super Bowl rings on his fingers (six and counting), and now the entire city of Tampa Bay is counting on he and Gronk to do for the Bucs what they did so often for the Pats, which is won postseason games.

Odds taken 24 July, 2020 from DraftKings

Tom Brady & TB Buccaneers Odds
Tom Brady’s 2020 Total Passing YardsOdds
Over 4300.5-110
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Under 4300.5-110
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Tom Brady’s 2020 Passing TouchdownsOdds
Over 29.5-110
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Under 29.5-110
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Tampa Bay Bucs’ 2020 Predictions Odds
Super Bowl Champions+1400
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NFC Champions+700
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NFC South Champions+160
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3. Punter – Dustin Colquitt, Free Agent, age 38

A 2x Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl Champion, Dustin Colquitt can still get plenty of air under his punts, and chances are a team will pick up this big leg who’s got 1,124 career punts for over 50,000+ yards, averaging 44.8 yards per boot.

4. Offensive Line – Andrew Whitworth, Los Angeles Rams, age 38

This LSU grad has been in the league since the 2006 season after being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round, and since then, Andrew Whitworth has proven to be a key part to the blind side of the Rams’ offensive line, so much so that Los Angeles just signed “the old man” for another three seasons.

Odds taken 24 July, 2020 from DraftKings

Los Angeles Rams’ 2020 Predictions Odds
Super Bowl Champions+3300
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NFC Champions+1600
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NFC West Champions+500
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5. Tight End – Jason Witten, Las Vegas Raiders, age 38

From out of the broadcast booth and retirement and back on the field, Jason Witten still has plenty of gas left in the tank, plus great hands, snagging 63 receptions for the Dallas Cowboys last season for 529 total receiving yards and 4 touchdowns, production good enough to receive a one-year contract with Jon Gruden’s Vegas Raiders.

Odds taken 24 July, 2020 from DraftKings

Jason Witten & Raiders Odds
Jason Witten’s 2020 Total Receiving YardsOdds
Over 525.5+110
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Under 525.5-150
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Las Vegas Raiders’ 2020 Predictions Odds
Super Bowl Champions+6600
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AFC Champions+3000
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AFC West Champions+1100
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6. Running Back – Frank Gore, New York Jets, age 37

Ready to play in his 17th NFL season, Jets running back Frank Gore has had nine seasons with 1,000+ rushing yards, which is the fifth most ever, and the other four backs ahead of Gore on that list are already in the NFL Hall of Fame, which tells you something about this durable back.

Odds taken 24 July, 2020 from DraftKings

New York Jets’ 2020 Predictions Odds
Super Bowl Champions+7000
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AFC Champions+3300
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AFC East Champions+800
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7. Wide Receiver – Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals, age 36

Larry Fitzgerald was the first receiver selected in the 2004 NFL Draft, and he has stayed with the team that took him ever since, a career Cardinal, he is ready to have (yet another) breakout season being targeted by his star QB Kyler Murray and now lining up with another deep threat receiver, DeAndre Hopkins.

Odds taken 24 July, 2020 from DraftKings

Arizona Cardinals 2020 Predictions Odds
Super Bowl Champions+7000
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NFC Champions+2500
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NFC West Champions+5000
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Oldest NFL Players on Defense

  1. Line Backer- Cameron Wake, Free Agent (38)
  2. Corner Back – Tramon Williams, Free Agent (37)
  3. Safety – Antoine Bethea, Free Agent (35)
  4. Defensive Line – Callais Campbell, Baltimore Ravens (34)

These are the most “advanced aged” players who are still ready to suit up and play defense during the 2020 season, with a few free agents still looking for their next home.

Again, we have broken them down by position:

1. Linebacker – Cameron Wake, Free Agent, age 38

Cameron Wake is a proud member of the NFL’s “100 Sacks” club, but the 5x Pro Bowler and First-team All-Pro is still looking for a 2020 home, the Penn State grad and former Canadian Football League star (BC Lions) with 2.5 sacks last season for the Tennessee Titans, along with a forced fumble and a pass defended, all in 9 games.

2. Cornerback – Tramon Williams, Free Agent, age 37

Tramon Williams may be a cornerback with no current team, but the free-agent proved last season he can still keep up with the kids in the secondary, posting 2 interceptions, 8 passes defended, a forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries and 39 total tackles for the Green Bay Packers while playing in all 16 games last season and starting in 7 of them.

3. Safety – Antoine Bethea, Free Agent, age 35

Safety is a tough position to play as you get older since top chase-down speed is required, something that Antoine Bethea hasn’t seemed to have lost, the Super Bowl Champion and 3x Pro Bowler with an interception and 6 passes defended last season with the New York Giants, and more impressively, 81 total tackles, numbers that should earn him a roster spot somewhere in 2020.

4. Defensive line – Calais Campbell, Baltimore Ravens, age 34 (in Sept)

The 6’ 8”, 300-pound Calais Campbell is a force to reckoned with, especially if you happen to be an opposing quarterback, since the 5x Pro Bowler and a First-team All-Pro and multiple Second-team All-Pro players tend to get after them, with 88 career sacks since he started in the league back in 2008.

Odds taken 24 July, 2020 from DraftKings

Baltimore Ravens’ 2020 Predictions Odds
Super Bowl Champions+650
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AFC Champions+325
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AFC North Champions-225
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Conclusion

Age is but a state of mind, apparently, at least to these NFL gentlemen of a certain age, each an exceptional example of the benefits of staying in top-notch physical condition.

It will be interesting to see if the free agents on this list find homes for the 2020 NFL season, or if they will simply be forced to retire “due to a lack of interest” as much younger players take over where these “old sports” left off.

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Mike Lukas

Expert on NFL

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager.



Email: mike.lukas@wsn.com