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Who Is The Oldest Active Player In The NFL?

Have you wondered… Who is the oldest active player in the NFL? There is no doubt that the oldest active player in the NFL as of the moment is the New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady. 

At 42, he officially took over the title from Indianapolis Colt kicker Adam Vinatieri. Last year, the former Patriot, at the age of 46, was placed on IR by the Colts after having surgery to repair a knee injury that had tormented him for the 2019 season.

Key Takeaways

  • Tom Brady is currently holding the title as the oldest active player in the NFL, up to this 2022 season.
  • Some of the oldest active names in the NFL besides Brady are Drew Brees, Josh MCCown, Benjamin Watson, L.P. Ladouceur, Mike Adams, and Matt Schaub.

Why is Adam Vinatieri No Longer the Oldest Active Player in the NFL?

Because of his surgery, Vinatieri who is now 47, still couldn’t return for a 25th season because his rehab has slowed down due to the quarantine brought upon by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, Brady would likely be holding the mantle as the NFL’s oldest player for the next few seasons. But that would depend on his health and when he decides to retire, of course.

Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) before an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Houston Texans, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Possessing the title of the oldest active player may not mean a whole lot, but consider it an achievement for Brady. He will also be proud of it since the title aligns with his health and athletics company, TB12. [1]

Tom Brady Is the Oldest Active Player in the NFL

Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. was born on the 3rd of August 1977. He is now an American football quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL).

After playing college football for the University of Michigan, he started his career playing for the New England Patriots after they drafted him 199th overall in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He spent his first 20 seasons with the team, playing in nine Super Bowls and winning six of them (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI, and LIII), both of which are the most of any player in NFL history. 

Image source: CBS Sports

Brady achieved a record of four Super Bowl MVP awards (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XLIX, and LI) as well as three NFL MVP awards (2007, 2010, 2017). Since he boasts numerous records and accolades, a lot of sportswriters, commentators, and players claim that Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. [2] With a handspan of 9.38 inches, it is said that Brady’s hand measurement plays a significant value in his accuracy in handling a football.

According to reports, Brady’s goal was to initially retire after finishing the 2022 season, thus completing his ultimate goal of playing until age 45. Yet Brady has reportedly changed his mind. He is now more open to playing next season now than he was three months ago.

The successful quarterback is currently considering all options for the 2023 season including testing free agency, according to NFL Media. For that, it’ll take quite a while before someone can steal Brady’s title as the oldest active player in the NFL.

Some of The Oldest Players Next to Tom Brady 

If you want to know who’s still getting out on the field competing against the young guys, below is a list of NFL players over 35. While some of these players may be retiring in the next few years, more names are likely to add to this group in the future. 

#1 Drew Brees, 41

Drew Christopher Brees, born on January 15, 1979, is an American football quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. In college, he was a successful football player at Purdue University, becoming one of the most decorated players in Purdue and Big Ten Conference history. He has been an active player since 2001 until today. 

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – OCTOBER 25: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints reacts against the Carolina Panthers during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 25, 2020, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

#2 Josh McCown, 40

Joshua Treadwell McCown, born on July 4, 1979, is currently a quarterback for Philadelphia Eagles. He attended Jacksonville High School in Jacksonville, Texas, where he earned his title as the East Texas Player of the Year and All-State honorable mention honors as a senior. He has been an active player since 2002 until today. 

Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

#3 Benjamin Watson, 39

Benjamin Seth Watson, born on December 18, 1980, is a football tight end for the New England Patriots. He was drafted by the Patriots 32nd overall in the 2004 NFL Draft and later won Super Bowl XXXIX with the team over the Philadelphia Eagles. He started playing football in college in Georgia. He has been an active player since 2004 until today. 

In 2020, Benjamin Watson officially announced that he retired from the NFL, ending his a 16-year career with he being a part of four teams — the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens. The 39-year-old tight end revealed the news wholeheartedly with a message on his Instagram.

#4 L.P. Ladouceur, 38

Louis-Philippe Ladouceur, born on March 13, 1981, is a Canadian professional American football long snapper for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at California. He has been an active player since 2005 until today. 

#5 Mike Adams, 38

Michael Carl Adams, born on March 24, 1981, is an American football safety for Houston Texans. He played college football at Delaware. In 2004, he was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent. He has been an active player since 2004 until today. 

#6 Matt Schaub, 38

Matthew Schaub, born on June 25, 1981, is an American football quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. He played college football for the Virginia Cavaliers. In the third round with the 90th pick of the 2004 NFL Draft, he was drafted by the Falcons. He has been an active player since 2004 until today. 

Check out this article to know who the shortest NFL quarterback is.

Final Words 

Younger players may have a better chance of success in the NFL, but their careers can be so short. Older players, such as those who are on this list have proven their success on the gridiron. With this in mind, the age of the player—especially at certain positions—seems insignificant. What do you think about this? Do you believe that being as experienced as older players give them the privilege to be called the greatest? If you have any comments, we would love to hear them.


“Home Page | TB12 Sports.” Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.
2.”Why Is Everyone Calling Tom Brady ‘The GOAT?’ – B105.” 28 Feb. 2020, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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