Tom Brady and George Blanda.
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The 11 Oldest NFL Players Ever Defeated Father Time

Staying healthy as a NFL player is the key to a long career. But that's no secret for the 11 oldest NFL players to ever step on the field.

Being an NFL player is a young man's game. Football is a physical sport, and it tends to really wear down people. A lot of NFL players are done playing around the time they turn 30. However, NFL history is dotted with players who have defied the odds and played for many years. OK, so a lot of the oldest players in NFL history are kickers. However, they still put together impressively long careers.

Of course, when we talk about the oldest NFL players, the guy who most recently comes to mind is Tom Brady. Brady is, indeed, in the top 10 in terms of oldest players in NFL history. Though he didn't play until until he was 50 like he said, he definitely made his mark on the list, as he was 45 when he suited up for the final time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With Brady out of the league, it's time for the younger quarterbacks like Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes to take over. Still, they have a long ways to go to reach Brady's longevity. Without further ado, here are the oldest players to ever take the field in the NFL.

11. Vinny Testaverde, 44

Quarterback Vinny Testaverde of the Carolina Panthers warms up before play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium

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This is a list dominated by quarterbacks and placekickers, and we start with one of the former in Testaverde. The first-overall pick by the Buccaneers in the 1987 NFL Draft, Testaverde had a journeyman career. Playing until you are 44 can do that.

He played for the Cleveland Browns as they turned into the Baltimore Ravens and scored the first touchdown in Ravens history. In 2007, Testaverde spent his last NFL season with the Carolina Panthers and was thrust into the starting lineup. He threw a touchdown pass to a receiver more than 20 years younger than him in his last start. He was 44 years and 47 days old when he appeared in his last game on Dec. 30, 2007.

10. Steve DeBerg, 44

teve DeBerg #17 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drops back to pass during an NFL football game circa 1987 at Tampa Stadium

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DeBerg, like Testaverde, started his career in Tampa, and he also played until he was 44. He's an unusual story, as he actually retired in 1993 as a member of the Miami Dolphins. In fact, DeBerg even took a job as a quarterbacks coach for the New York Giants.

Then, in 1998, DeBerg returned to being an active player for the Atlanta Falcons. He backed up Chris Chandler and actually started a game against the New York Jets. Granted, he went 9-for-20 for 117 yards with an interception and got pulled from the game, but he still played! He was also on the Super Bowl roster as a 45-year-old but did not see the field.

9. Bobby Marshall, 45

OK, so this is an old-school name. As in, Marshall last played in the NFL in 1925. For the Duluth Kelleys. However, Marshall is in the College Football Hall of Fame, and he's also a vital part of American sports history. He and Fritz Pollard are jointly considered the first African Americans to play in the NFL.

8. Gary Anderson, 45

Minnesota Vikings kicker Gary Anderson (1) attempts a kick during a 48-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks

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?Anderson grew up playing soccer and rugby in South Africa. Still, when he picked up a football, he turned into one of the most prolific kickers in NFL history. He made four Pro Bowls, with his first coming in 1983 and his last coming in 1998.

You may remember him best for kicking field goals and extra points for the Minnesota Vikings during the peak of Cris Carter and Randy Moss. He retired as a Tennessee Titan in 2004 at the age of 45 as the then-leading scorer in NFL history.

7. Ben Agajanian, 45

Ben Agajanian #3 of the Dallas Texans kicks the field goal during an AFL game against the Buffalo Bill

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Agajanian was one of the first NFL players to be a kicking specialist. He helped change the game over his NFL career that lasted from 1945-1964. In fact, he was the first kicker to take steps back and then to the side and the first kicker to specify he wanted the laces to be facing out when he kicked.

After his career, Agajanian was the Dallas Cowboys' kicking coach for 20 years.

6. Tom Brady, 45

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers waves to the crowd as he runs off the field after defeating the New England Patriots in the game at Gillette Stadium

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The GOAT always spoke about his desire to play until he was 45, and in 2022 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he was able to achieve that goal. At the age of 45 years and 166 days old, Brady took the field for the final time against the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs on Jan. 16, 2023. He threw for 351 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

5. John Nesser, 46

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?The Nesser brothers were kind of like the Watt brothers of early football. The youngest in the family, John was an offensive lineman with the Columbus Panhandles from 1909 through 1921. He played his last NFL game at the age of 46

4. John Carney, 46

Kicker John Carney #3 of the San Diego Chargers looks on from the field before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium

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Carney first played in the NFL in 1988 and last played in 2010, meaning he had a career that spanned four decades. To think, he was released by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1987 after they signed him as an undrafted free agent and spent the year out of football.

Instead, he would make a Pro Bowl with the San Diego Chargers in 1994 and the New York Giants in 2008. He ended his career with the New Orleans Saints in what was his second stint on the team. At 46, he made five of his six field goal attempts in two games.

3. Adam Vinatieri, 46

New England Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) celebrates his 48-yard game-winning kick during Super Bowl XXXVI, a 20-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams

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?If you were ranking NFL kickers by big moments, Vinatieri would likely be on the top of that list. Sure, we could talk about the 365 regular-season games he kicked in.

However, with Vinatieri, it's all about the clutch kicks. He helped lead the Patriots to three Super Bowls before joining the Indianapolis Colts. With the Colts, he won a fourth Super Bowl ring. He's currently the NFL's leading scorer and has made more field goals than anybody in NFL history. He retired after the 2019 season at the age of 46.

2. Morten Andersen, 47

We can't really justify a kicker being taken in the fourth round. Still, Andersen came close to justifying the Saints' decision to do so. After all, he kicked for them from 1982 until 1994. Ah, but that was merely the beginning of his career.

Andersen would play all the way until 2007, when he finally hung up the cleats with the Atlanta Falcons. He was a five-time first-team All-Pro and is one of only two primary placekickers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Andersen played until he was 47.

1. George Blanda, 48

George Blanda kicks a field goal.

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Blanda is a classic old-school NFL name. He played for the Baltimore Colts, Houston Oilers, Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders. Blanda won the MVP of the AFL, which is now folded into the NFL. Blanda was primarily a kicker by the time he joined the Raiders, but he would play some quarterback on occasion. His final NFL season came in 1975 when he was 48 years old.

Blanda was a ridiculous 48 years and 109 days old when he played in his final game, a loss to the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs.

Sure, the NFL might have a few elderly players in the league right now. The 41-year-old Jason Peters and 40-year-old Aaron Rodgers come to mind. But to make this list, even they would need a few more years.

Maybe the NFL isn't such a young man's game after all.

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