5 Oldest Active Players in the NFL

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. 


5. Sebastian Janikowski

Age: 40 (Born March 2, 1978)

Position: Kicker

Team: Seattle Seahawks

18th NFL Season


Seabass has been lugging his booming cannon of a leg and his 260-plus-pound frame out onto NFL fields since Y2K. Janikowski holds the NFL record for field goals of 50 yards or more with 57; in 2011, his lone Pro Bowl season, he nailed 7-of-10 from 50-plus, with a long of 63 yards. The Polish-born Janikowski remains the only kicker in the modern era to be drafted in the first round (granted, it was the Raiders, who have a history of doing dumb draft stuff). It's weird to see him in Seahawks blue and green, but as a kicker, he's far less likely to embarrass himself than Niners-era O.J. or Rams-era Namath. 


4. Tom Brady

Age: 41 (Born Aug. 3, 1977)

Position: Quarterback

Team: New England Patriots

19th 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 — 19 seasons, 15 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. He may finally be showing some signs of age, but check back in December — he's liable to be celebrating another division championship and plotting the course to another Super Bowl.  


3. Matt Bryant

Age: 43 (Born May 29, 1975)

Position: Kicker

Team: Atlanta Falcons

17th 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 45. 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. 


2. Phil Dawson

Age: 43 (Born Jan. 23, 1975)

Position: Kicker

Team: Arizona Cardinals

20th NFL Season


Ah, the life of an NFL kicker. Even in his 20th season, Dawson understands that he's only as good as his last kick. His late miss against the Seahawks, which cost the Cardinals their first win of the 2018 season, had Dawson wondering if he'd still have a job on Monday. "I've been living on egg shells for 21 years," Dawson said after his Monday phone call from coach Steve Wilks. "Yeah, anytime you get summoned to the head coach's office, it makes you think twice, especially coming off a game like I had." For the moment, Dawson is still employed and has cracked the NFL's all-time top 10 in scoring. Dawson's lone Pro Bowl came in 2012, when he made 29-of-31 field goals and all 29 extra points for the Browns. He's second among active players in career field goals, behind only the NFL Methuselah atop this list. 


Oldest Player in the NFL Adam Vinatieri

1. Adam Vinatieri

Age: 45 (Born Dec. 28, 1972)

Position: Kicker

Team: Indianapolis Colts

23rd 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."

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