Ranking the Best Current NFL Quarterbacks Over 30 Years of Age

Here are the greatest current NFL quarterbacks who are over the age of 30.

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For most positions in today’s NFL, 30 years of age is the threshold between quality play and the steep downward trajectory towards ineffectiveness. However, that’s far from the case at quarterback, where advancing age seems to do wonders for some of the league’s best passers. While it’s not a golden rule by any means, we see numerous signal callers shine well into their 30s — and even 40s.

That’s why I’ve decided to take a look at the best quarterbacks currently in the NFL over the age of 30. It’ll give you a good shapshot of the types of players who are still tearing it up past what is considered to be the “prime years” for professional athletes.

Remember — age is just a number. The following quarterbacks are living proof of that.

20. Drew Stanton, Arizona Cardinals
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Age: 33

Realistically, Drew Stanton isn’t anything special — especially at this point in his NFL career. Despite that, he’s still one of the better backups in the league. When forced into action, he’s held his own for the Arizona Cardinals, including an eight-game stint as the starter in 2014. Time may be running out on his days as an NFL passer, but he’s made a solid career for himself as a clipboard holder.

19. Derek Anderson, Carolina Panthers
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Age: 34

Another career backup, Derek Anderson has found himself a comfortable gig as the Carolina Panthers‘ No. 2 behind Cam Newton. While he’s spent most of the last few seasons on the sideline, Anderson was once a Pro Bowl quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. He’s had an up-and-down NFL career, but has done more than enough to earn a spot on this list of aging wonders.

18. Matt Cassel, Tennessee Titans
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Age: 35

Another name, another backup with some solid spot-starting work. Matt Cassel has had plenty of opportunities to prove his worth, with varying degrees of success. Although he’s become a journeyman over the last few years, Cassel was once a star of sorts. He stepped in for an injured Tom Brady and helped the New England Patriots reach the playoffs, and even made a Pro Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs back in 2011.

17. Chase Daniel, New Orleans Saints
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Age: 31

The least experienced player on this list, Chase Daniel is one of those talented quarterbacks who just can’t catch a break. While guys like Cassel and Anderson have had their opportunities, Daniel has spent his entire career as a backup. Even when he took his talents to Philly in hopes of pushing for a starting job, he was quickly pushed aside in favor of Carson Wentz. Still, the natural arm talent is there.

16. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Age: 35

The Harvard quarterback’s career has been one of the wildest roller coaster rides of any NFL signal caller. He’s played for seven teams, including five over the last six seasons. Much of his time in the league has been characterized by too many turnovers and not enough wins, Ryan Fitzpatrick has proven himself capable of being a starting quarterback — just look at what he did for the New York Jets in 2015.

15. Brian Hoyer, San Francisco 49ers
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Age: 32

Up to this point, Brian Hoyer‘s NFL career has mainly been a string of solid seasons ruined by injury. It’s actually surprising he stayed healthy long enough to be benched during his first year with the San Francisco 49ers. Still, Hoyer has flashed potential at times, but always seems to get hurt right when he’s gaining momentum. Time may be running out for Hoyer, but he’ll keep trying.

14. Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars
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Age: 32

Honestly, I think Chad Henne is a tad underrated. Yes, he may not have had much success during his stint as the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ starter. Then again, it’s not like he had a ton of other weapons surrounding him. Now, he serves as Blake Bortles‘ backup. It may not be the most exciting of gigs, but it keeps Henne healthy for when he’s called upon to replace the inconsistent youngster.

13. Josh McCown, New York Jets
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Age: 38

One of the oldest quarterbacks in the league, Josh McCown is still going strong as the starter for the Jets. Although his NFL career has been a bumpy road, he’s put together some impressive campaigns and won a few big ones in the process. While he may never be known as much more than a serviceable veteran starter, McCown has stood the test of time and still has it at 38 years old.

12. Matt Schaub, Atlanta Falcons
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Age: 36

Although he’s been reduced to a backup role for the last few years, Matt Schaub was once a quality, long-term starter for the Houston Texans. In fact, he has two Pro Bowl nods to his name and even led the NFL in passing yards during the 2009 campaign. Now, he’s enjoying toting around a clipboard for the Atlanta Falcons and providing Matt Ryan with a valuable veteran ear to bend.

11. Jay Cutler, Miami Dolphins
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Age: 34

As we all know, Jay Cutler almost didn’t even play this season. Then, Ryan Tannehill tore up his knee again and forced the Miami Dolphins to make a call to the monochromatic quarterback. It hasn’t gone quite as hoped so far in 2017, but Cutler is still a capable gunslinger who deserves some respect. His days as a plus starter may be in the rear-view mirror, but he can still get the job done.

10. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
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Age: 32

Joe Flacco may have a Super Bowl victory under his belt, but he’s been far from a reliable passer since landing his massive contract back in 2013. Some games, Flacco will look like a star quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens. Then, in others, he’ll struggle to get anything going on the offensive end. Despite that, he’s a quality starter who can move the ball when surrounded by playmakers.

9. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
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Age: 36

For so many years, we got used to seeing fantastic efforts from Philip Rivers. While things haven’t completely fallen apart, the Los Angeles Chargers‘ bolo-tie-wearing veteran has begun to impress less and less over the years. He can still be counted on to put up big numbers and keep the Chargers in the game, but winning and avoiding turnovers have become an issue. Don’t be surprised if Los Angeles looks for a new face to boost the fanbase in a new city.

8. Eli Manning, New York Giants
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Age: 36

Eli Manning may have two Super Bowl rings in his collection, but it’s becoming clear that his best days are behind him. Although still a productive, effective quarterback, he’s been asked to do too much for the New York Giants offense over the last few years. A lack of a running game and dependable offensive line hasn’t helped either. Still, Manning keeps the New York offense afloat and consistently puts them in the win column.

7. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
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Age: 33

It took some time, but age seems have to brought out the best in Alex Smith. During this current campaign, the former No. 1 overall pick has emerged as one of the NFL’s top signal callers — potentially due to the pressure applied by incoming rookie Patrick Mahomes. Smith has helped develop the Kansas City Chiefs offense into one of the league’s most efficient groups, and has even earned some MVP consideration.

6. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
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Age: 38

It’s rather surprising how effective Carson Palmer has been in recent years despite his advancing age and injury history. Then again, with someone like Larry Fitzgerald to throw to, any NFL quarterback’s life would be significantly easier. The Cardinals will soon be planning for a future without Palmer, but he’s still proving even as of 2017 that he’s got the arm talent to put up big numbers.

5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
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Age: 35

It’s been a great run for Ben Roethlisberger, who has spent the last decade or so shredding opposing secondaries for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Unfortunately, his consistency has slipped a bit as retirement seems to be looming large on his mind. Even if he does happen to hang it up soon, Roethlisberger will still have two Super Bowl rings, five Pro Bowl nods and an Offensive Rookie of the Year award to his name.

4. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
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Age: 32

It took some time for Matt Ryan to finally reach his full potential. After his 2016 campaign, though, it’s safe to say he’s earned “elite” status as the leader of the Atlanta Falcons offense. Although it helps that he’s surrounded by plenty of explosive playmakers, his accuracy, poise and leadership have allowed him to take his game to the next level. It appears Ryan is just hitting his prime as he works his way through his early 30s.

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
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Age: 38

The second-oldest quarterback in the NFL, Drew Brees continues to work his magic no matter the circumstances. He’s turned the New Orleans Saints into one of the league’s premier offenses, and keeps on racking up huge amounts of yards every year. As long as he’s under center down in the Big Easy, the New Orleans offense will be one that other teams will hate getting matched up against.

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
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Age: 34

Prior to his broken collarbone, Aaron Rodgers was putting together yet another monstrous season. Despite a lackluster ground game, a patchwork offensive line and inconsistent defense, he had managed to put the Green Bay Packers into position to be a contender. With him out of the picture now, it’s not looking good for the reigning NFC North champs. When he returns, though, expect more of the same from the dynamic Rodgers.

1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
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Age: 40

It’s crazy to think that, at 40 years of age, Brady is still the best quarterback in the league. Better yet, he may be the greatest quarterback to ever grace the gridiron. Even when the Patriots don’t sport the most well-rounded roster (like 2017), Brady still finds a way to keep them in the hunt for another Super Bowl ring. It’s anyone’s guess how much longer he can go before finally losing his touch.