NFL

Who are the oldest and youngest players in the 2021 NFL season?

No prize for guessing who the oldest player in the 2021 NFL season is, and the youngest player in the competition is less than half his age.

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Who are the oldest and youngest players in the 2021 NFL season?
Kevin C. Cox AFP

Up until a couple of months ago, there were three players over the age of 40 still active in the NFL. In March, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ four children announced that their dad would be calling it a day after 20 years’ service. The news was confirmed on 11 June with Brees bowing out aged 42 to spend more time with his family and kids.

Vinatieri's playing days come to an end

Just a few weeks earlier, placekicker Adam Vinatieri, the NFL's all-time scoring leader with a combined 599 field goals for the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts had let slip that his playing days had come to an end. As he told The Pat McAfee Show, “Shall we just make it real? Shall we just say, ‘Hey, we’re done, we’re riding off into the sunset’ Do you want it to be live on your show that Vini’s officially done, is that what you want?” Vinatieri, who will turn 49 in December, realised his time was up after undergoing surgery on his left knee in December 2019 and hasn’t played since.

So that leaves just one veteran left who is currently active in the NFL - Tom Brady. Brady, widely regarded as the greatest quarterback of all-time, turned 44 on 3 August, making him the oldest player who is still active in the NFL. He is followed by Don Muhlbach, who is currently a free agent after being released by Detroit Lions last month - on the day of his 40th birthday. Next in line are five players who are all aged 39 - Jason Peters, Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Lee, Sam Koch and Andrew Whitworth. The all-time record is held by George Blanda who played his final NFL game for Oakland Raiders, aged 48 years and 109 days on 4 January 1976. He was released and retired a few months later.

NFL new kids on the block

As for the two youngest players in the NFL for the 2021 season, the sum of their combined ages is still less than Brady’s 44 years. Kyle Pitts, selected by Atlanta Falcons, was No.4 in the overall pick and is regarded as the best non-quarterback prospect in this year's draft class after a breakout season with Florida Gators last year which earned him the John Mackey award. The Philadelphia-born tight end says that after settling into life in the NFL, his ultimate aim eventually, is to be Rookie of the Year, “That’s my highest goal, it’s pretty high but it’s something I can attain so that’s something I’m looking forward to”.

Trevor Lawrence was the No.1 overall pick in 2021 and curiously, he is exactly one year younger than Pitts, they share the same birthday, 6 October. The 21-year-old quarterback is the second youngest to be taking part in this season’s NFL and has joined the Jacksonville Jaguars who didn't hesitate to name him as a starter for their Week 1 opener against Houston Texans on Sunday.