Players coming out of college are bigger, stronger and faster than ever before. Moreover, the rookie pay scale puts a cap on their earning capacity, making them the best bang for every team’s buck. As a result, teams are favoring younger players over veterans who command higher salaries despite being past their prime.
That said, there are several graybeards out there proving age is just a number. Check out this of the oldest players in the NFC who are still having an impact. Click here to see the oldest players in the AFC. Sidenote: Kickers and punters were excluded.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brent Grimes (Age 34)
Brent Grimes has racked up 30 interceptions and 123 pass defenses in 10 NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, the Miami Dolphins, and the Buccaneers. The four-time Pro Bowler is the second year of the two-year deal he signed with the Bucs in 2016 and still looks to have plenty left in the tank.
Dallas Cowboys: Jason Witten (Age 35)
The 10-time Pro Bowler has over 1,000 career receptions and 11,000 receiving yards across his 14 NFL seasons — all with the Dallas Cowboys. Witten holds the NFL record for most receptions in a single season by a tight end and ranks second behind Tony Gonzalez for career yards and receptions among players at his position.
New York Giants: Eli Manning (Age 36)
Giants quarterback and Patriots kryptonite Eli Manning has racked up 48,214 yards and 320 touchdowns over the course of his 14 NFL seasons. He also won two Super Bowls and appeared in four Pro Bowls — all in New York. I mean, he’s no Peyton, but he’s done pretty well for himself regardless.
Arizona Cardinals: Carson Palmer (Age 37)
USC product and former Heisman trophy winner Carson Palmer signed with the Cardinals in 2013 after spending the first part of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders. He led the Cardinals to the playoffs in 2015, the same year he set franchise records in single season passing yards and touchdowns.