Some future Hall of Famers make the list
These football iron men keep proving that age is just a number, and that they'll leave the game on their own terms, when they're good and ready.
Here's a look at the oldest NFL players still active in the league.
3. Tom Brady
Age: 42 (Born Aug. 3, 1977)
Team: New England Patriots
20th NFL Season
To think he was once a doughy, slow-footed, marginal pro prospect staring forlornly at the camera in his NFL Combine photo. Little was expected out of this sixth-round draft pick from Michigan, and given his measurables, could you blame the experts for dismissing him? But here we are — 20 seasons, 16 division titles and four Super Bowl MVP awards later. Brady stands as arguably the greatest (and inarguably the winningest and most decorated) quarterback in NFL history. Oh, and did we mention he has six Super Bowl rings?
2. Matt Bryant
Age: 44 (Born May 29, 1975)
Team: Atlanta Falcons
18th NFL Season
Bryant has had a long and successful run with the Falcons, with whom he made a Pro Bowl and a Super Bowl appearance in 2016. But earlier in his career, he led the nomadic life of a disposable kicking specialist, playing for the Iowa Barnstormers, New York Giants, Berlin Thunder, Frankfurt Galaxy, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Florida Tuskers. Bryant found his groove in the ATL and is signed with the Falcons through 2020, at which time he'd be 46. A sad but inspiring footnote to Bryant's career: He kicked three field goals in a win over the Packers the day after his son's funeral following his death from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, a cause to which Bryant has given much time and resources in the ensuing years.
1. Adam Vinatieri
Age: 46 (Born Dec. 28, 1972)
Team: Indianapolis Colts
24th NFL Season
Father Time may be undefeated, but he's glancing nervously at the clock as he watches the ageless Vinatieri swing his right leg over and over and over. When Vinatieri made his first career kick on Sept. 1, 1996, Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill topped the album charts, Monica Lewinsky was an unknown White House intern, Patrick Mahomes was weeks away from his first birthday and Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold were fetuses. Not surprisingly, Vinatieri is the NFL field goal king, passing Morten Andersen with his 566th career field goal in a loss to the Texans on Sept. 30. And there's no end in sight. "I love it as much today as I had when I started 23 years ago," Vinatieri told Colts.com over the summer. "I'm not looking to hang them up anytime soon, unless something happens that needs to be that way."