My, how time flies. It seems like just yesterday that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was embarking on a career-long journey to become the very best quarterback in NFL history, like no one ever was.
Now he's about to be the oldest non-kicker in the NFL.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is 40-years-old and has just signed a one-day contract to retire with the Seattle Seahawks. Hasselbeck entered the league in 1999 and led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl berth, before bouncing around the league as a top-quality back-up option. Hasselbeck is expected to be on ESPN's NFL Countdown program and should be a valuable contributor.
Quarterback Peyton Manning will be 40 later this month and he has retired from football. The Broncos great will forever be remembered for his time in Denver, but my memory is a little hazy on what he was able to accomplish prior to the 2012 season. Manning entered the league in 1998, set a few records here and there, was a part of a couple of Super Bowl victories, and will be regarded as one of the top 5 quarterbacks in the history of the game.
Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson will turn 40 in October and he is also retiring after a Pro Bowl year. Woodson entered the league in 1998 as the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, beating out the aforementioned Manning, and is a likely first-ballot Hall of Famer. He won a Super Bowl with the Packers before returning to his beloved Raiders.
Cardinals long snapper Mike Leach will also turn 40 in October and he's retiring. He entered the league in 2000 and that's pretty much all I have to say about that.
Here's a list of the players that are older than Tom Brady:
Three kickers and a punter. Vinatieri is a Lich King and can't be destroyed, while the other specialists have just a year or two remaining on their contracts.
Brady, on the other hand, is probably the best player in the league at this point in time as he hopes to play for another decade. Best of luck with that, Tom.
The next oldest active players behind Brady are Steelers edge defender James Harrison (turns 38 in May), who is contemplating retirement, and Vikings defensive back Terence Newman (turns 38 in September), who wants to return for another season.