The best veterans – not named Tom Brady – of the 2022 NFL season
This NFL season brings us a series of players who, like fine wines, get better with age. Physically impeccable and with a lot of experience, they are looking to make the last years of their careers unforgettable.
George Blanda, at 48, was the oldest player on the gridiron. Tom Brady is 44 and is the most veteran of this current season, but it will be difficult for him to equal the record of the quarterback who retired with the Raiders in 1975.
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Let's take a look at the most important NFL veterans who will play in 2022, apart from Brady, of course.
5. Jason Peters.
The offensive tackle entered the league in 2004 with Buffalo and lived his moment of glory with Philadelphia by winning Super Bowl LII in 2017. With the Eagles, he would play until 2020 and an injury took him away from the team, and he considered retirement at the age of 39.
But to everyone's surprise, in 2021 he signed a contract with the Chicago Bears, with whom he will play this 40-year-old campaign.
The veteran is a great player who has become a great reader of all the defenses in which he plays because of his commanding voice and his portentous physique. He's been a 9-time Pro Bowler, proving that he is one of the best in the league.
Chicago sees in him someone who can help them forge the young line talent they have. He can be a very good mentor, but the player still has a lot to offer to a Chicago team that did not do so well last season.
This season, he hopes to be more decisive and get more solid defensively.
4. Mercedes Lewis
One more campaign for the talented Tight End who has been with Green Bay since 2018. Last season, he started every game with the team and managed 23 receptions. He is no longer the player he was in Jacksonville, but he brings experience.
He came into the league in 2006 and immediately exploded with his great speed and talent. 2010 was his best year as he went to the Pro Bowl, had 58 receptions and scored 10 touchdowns.
He enters this season at the age of 38 looking for a conclusion to his good career, or perhaps to give us flashes of 2010, when he amazed the entire NFL.
3. Robbie Gould
Gould proved he can be important even when, under pressure, a 45-yard field goal put away the Packers at Lambeau Field and gave the 49ers a chance to play for the NFC championship, which they would lose to the Rams in the 2021 season.
Kickers are usually very durable because they suffer fewer injuries, but maintaining the strength and distance of their kicks is tricky as age progresses.
Adam Vinatieri, perhaps one of the best kickers in history, retired in 2021 at the age of 46, after a spectacular career in which he won 4 Super Bowl rings, being decisive in several of them.
The San Francisco kicker has been in the league since 2005, and this season, will be 39 years of age. The veteran is looking for a prize for such a long career. He has played in two super Bowls and no ring yet. Maybe the third time's a charm.
2. Andy Lee
39 years old, this punter has been in the league since 2004. His consistency led the Arizona Cardinals to renew him for one more season, and he will enter at age 40 because his birthday is before the season starts.
He has been to the Pro Bowl three times and averages 49 yards per punt, and in 5 seasons has only had one blocked kick. Not only that, but he has a cool head and a lot of patience, which comes from years of experience.
Last season with Arizona, he did quite well and helped the team finish with 11 wins. But they were not able to beat the Rams in the wild-card game.
1. Aaron Rodgers
The Green Bay Packers quarterback is one of the best in the league and has a place reserved in the Hall of Fame. He won Super Bowl XLV being the most valuable player and every season shows that he is still at a high level.
He came to the league in 2005 and has won the league's most valuable player award four times. Every season he looks for his second championship ring and has been denied, that is why he does not throw in the towel and puts his helmet back on to get back on the field.
He just renewed with Green Bay, and it looks like he will play at least until he is 42 years old. At 38, he is still a leader and superstar. He is a very valuable asset to the league and his team is looking for another championship to show off in the museum.
As you can see, there are many veterans who will be looking to remain relevant in a league as demanding as the NFL. Who will do better? Will any of them lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy in February? We are sure that one of them will surprise us with another record or wonderful game.