Oldest NFL Quarterback

10 Oldest NFL Quarterbacks Ever (Updated 2024)

While every position on a football team is important, the quarterback is inarguably the most vital member of any team. Being a quarterback requires the most skill and intelligence, and the quarterback needs to possess various leadership qualities.

According to one analysis, the average age of an NFL quarterback is in their early to mid-30s. Every single one of the quarterbacks on this list far surpasses this average, with all of them playing in their 40s. The oldest quarterback ever, George Blanda, was just shy of his 49th birthday when he retired!

They are all retired now!

So, here are the 10 Oldest NFL Quarterbacks Ever. 

10. Brett Favre

Oldest Age While Playing: 41 years
Years Active: 1991 – 2010 (19 years)
Team(s): Atlanta Falcons (1991); Green Bay Packers (1992 – 2007); New York Jets (2008); and Minnesota Vikings (2009 – 2010)

Brett FavrePhoto Source: Onmilwaukee

Brett Favre is one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks but also one of its most controversial. Favre was temporarily banned from the NFL in 1996 for abusing alcohol and painkillers. Toward the end of his career, Favre was once again in the national spotlight for misconduct, this time for allegedly sexually harassing the New York Jets’ “Gameday host” Jenn Sterger.

Despite all of these controversies on the field, Favre was a phenomenal oldest quarterback and still holds several NFL records. Favre’s NFL records include most career pass attempts, most career interceptions thrown, most consecutive starts by a player, most times sacked, and most fumbles.

Did You Know?

Brett Favre was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016, and the year before, the Green Bay Packers retired Favre’s number (4) and added him to the Packers’ Hall of Fame.

9. Drew Brees

Oldest Age While Playing: 42 years
Years Active: 2001 – 2021
Team(s): San Diego Chargers (2001 – 2005); New Orleans Saints (2006 – Present)

Drew BreesPhoto Source: NBC News

Drew Brees is currently the second oldest active NFL quarterback after Tom Brady. Brees turned 42 just a few days before his final game of the 2020 NFL season. He retired after the 2020 season and joined NBS as an analyst on SNL for a year. In 2022, he joined Purdue as a temporary assistant football coach.  

Brees has been with the New Orleans Saints since 2006 and led the team to its first Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XLIV (2010).

Brees was first drafted into the NFL in 2001 by the San Diego Chargers, and he played with the team until 2005. During Brees’ 20 years in the NFL, he has done very well as a quarterback, leading in several categories. As of the end of Week 10 of the 2020 NFL season, Brees holds the NFL records for career pass completions, career completion percentage, and career passing yards.

Did You Know? 

During his college football career at Purdue University, Drew Brees set two NCAA records, 13 Big Ten Conference records, and 19 Purdue University records.

8. Earl Morrall

Oldest Age While Playing: 42 years
Years Active: 1956 – 1976 (21 years)
Team(s): San Francisco 49ers (1956); Pittsburgh Steelers (1957 – 1958); Detroit Lions (1958 – 1964); New York Giants (1965 – 1967); Baltimore Colts (1968 – 1971); and Miami Dolphins (1972 – 1976)

Earl MorrallPhoto Source: Heraldtribune

Earl Morrall started as a rookie with the San Francisco 49ers in 1956 and went on to play in the NFL for 20 years. During his career, Morrall played as a starter as well as a backup quarterback. Morrall is known for being one of the greatest backup quarterbacks in NFL history.

Most notably, Morrall subbed in for Bob Griese during the 1972 Miami Dolphins season, which was the only perfect season ever in the NFL. The Dolphins also went to that season’s Super Bowl, which they won. Morrall played in three additional Super Bowls and won all but one.

Morrall passed away in 2014, aged 79. 

Did You Know? 

During Earl Morrall’s 21 seasons in the NFL, he was part of 255 games, completing 1,379 passes for 20,809 yards and 161 touchdowns.

7. Doug Flutie

Oldest Age While Playing: 43 years
Years Active: 1986 – 1989; 1998 – 2005
Team(s): Chicago Bears (1986 – 1987); New England Patriots (1987 – 1989), (2005); Buffalo Bills (1998 – 2000); and San Diego Chargers (2001 – 2004)

Doug FlutiePhoto Source: Tegna

Doug Flutie‘s professional football career spanned over 22 years, but he was not always playing in the NFL. Flutie started out with the United States Football League before being picked up by the Chicago Bears in 1986. After staying in the NFL for a few short years, Flutie left to play for the Canadian Football League (CFL) for the next decade.

Flutie returned to the NFL in 1998 when the Buffalo Bills signed him during the offseason. Initially, Flutie was not the Bills’ starting quarterback, but he was put in after Rob Johnson was injured. Flutie made an explosive comeback, and the Bills had a great season. Flutie ended up staying in the NFL until 2005 when he was 43 years old.

Did You Know?

Doug Flutie had many accomplishments, including being the 1984 Heisman Trophy recipient and 1998 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

6. Warren Moon

Oldest Age While Playing: 43 years
Years Active: 1984 – 2000 (16 years)
Team(s): Houston Oilers (1984 – 1993); Minnesota Vikings (1994 – 1996); Seattle Seahawks (1997 – 1998); and Kansas City Chiefs (1999 – 2000)

Warren MoonPhoto Source: HDNux

Warren Moon had an exceptional career not only in the NFL but in the Canadian Football League (CFL) as well. Before joining the Houston Oilers in 1984, Moon spent five seasons with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos. During his time with the Eskimos, Moon led his team to win a record five consecutive Grey Cups.

Moon continued to be an impressive quarterback when he joined the NFL, and within a few years, Moon led the league with 4,689 passing yards, attempts (584), completions (362), and touchdowns (33). In 2006, Moon was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, becoming the first African-American quarterback as well as the first undrafted quarterback to do so.

Did You Know? 

Throughout his career, Warren Moon had 9 Pro Bowl selections and was the 1990 NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

5. Vinny Testaverde

Oldest Age While Playing: 44 years
Years Active: 1987 – 2007 (21 years)
Team(s): Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1987 – 1992); Cleveland Browns (1993 – 1995); Baltimore Ravens (1996 – 1997); New York Jets (1998 – 2003), (2005); Dallas Cowboys (2004); New England Patriots (2006); and Carolina Panthers (2007)

Vinny TestaverdePhoto Source: Rdcpic

Vinny Testaverde was a quarterback for 21 seasons and started his professional career in 1987. During his time with the NFL, Testaverde played for seven different teams, beginning with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and ending with the Carolina Panthers.

Although Testaverde had such a long career, he was not necessarily a notable quarterback in terms of statistics or wins and losses. When Testaverde retired, he was 6th in career passing yardage, 7th in career touchdown passes, 6th in career completions.

Did You Know? 

Vinny Testaverde’s 123 losses as a starting quarterback is an NFL record, and his career regular season winning percentage of 42.3% is the lowest of any quarterback with at least 70 wins.

4. Tom Brady

Oldest Age While Playing: 45 years
Years Active: 2000 – 2023
Team(s): New England Patriots (2000 – 2019); Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020 – Present)

Tom BradyPhoto Source: ABC News

Currently, Tom Brady is one of the oldest Quarterbacks in the NFL and only retired recently. Tom Brady retired in February 2023. Although Brady was in his 40s, he is one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks and is considered by many to be the greatest player ever.

Tom Brady has spent nearly his entire professional career with the New England Patriots, and he led the team to six Super Bowl wins.

On March 17, 2020, the day before Brady’s contract was set to expire with the Patriots, he announced that he would not re-sign with the team, ending the 20-year partnership. A few days later, Brady signed on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Proving that he truly is one of the best players in NFL history, Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to his seventh Super Bowl win and the team’s second.

In early 2022, Tom Brady announced that he was retiring. However, just 40 days after his announcement made headlines, Brady said that he was returning to the Buccaneers for the 2022 season. His retirement in early 2023 has grabbed a lot of attention. 

Did You Know?

Brady has played 10 Super Bowls which is 4 more Super Bowls than any other player in history.

3. Steve DeBerg

Oldest Age While Playing: 44 years
Years Active: 1977 – 1993; 1998 (17 years)
Team(s): San Francisco 49ers (1977 – 1980); Denver Broncos (1981 – 1983); Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1984 – 1987), (1992 – 1993); Kansas City Chiefs (1988 – 1991); Miami Dolphins (1993); Atlanta Falcons (1998)

Steve DeBergPhoto Source: Boston Globe

Steve DeBerg may not have been one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, and he may not have ever won a Super Bowl, but he is known for being the oldest starting quarterback. After retiring in 1993, DeBerg came back for the 1998 season as a backup for the Atlanta Falcons. On October 25th, DeBerg played his only game that season and final game ever at the age of 44.

Technically, DeBerg was part of the Falcons team that went to Super Bowl XXXIII, but he did not play in the game. At the time, DeBerg was 45 years old, making him the oldest player on a Super Bowl roster.

Did You Know?

DeBerg had a brief career as a coach for the Arena Football League’s Indiana Firebirds and Tampa Bay Storm in 2004.

2. John Nesser

Oldest Age While Playing: 45 Years
Years Active: 1909 – 1921 (12 years)
Team(s): Colombus Panhandles

John NesserPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons – John is second from the left.

John Nesser‘s time playing professional football predates the formation of the NFL. However, he and his six brothers are often mentioned in NFL history. At the time, the Nesser Brothers were the most famous football family in America. Nesser played for the Columbus Panhandlers, which is considered one of the NFL’s first teams.

Due to the differences in football culture during the 1920s, Nesser isn’t widely recognized as a quarterback – he is listed as only a tackle guard –  despite records illustrating that Nesser lined up in the QB position up to his year of retirement in 1921.

However, he passed away in 1931 at the age of 55. 

Did You Know?

John Nesser was the oldest quarterback in the NFL history until George Blanda broke his record in the 1970s.

1. George Blanda

Oldest Age While Playing: 48 years
Years Active: 1949 – 1975 (26 years)
Team(s): Chicago Bears (1949) (1950 – 1958); Baltimore Colts (1950); Houston Oilers (1960 – 1966); Oakland Raiders (1967 – 1975)

George BlandaPhoto Source: CA Times

George Blanda retired from playing professional football at the age of 48, which makes Blanda the oldest NFL quarterback ever. While Blanda was primarily a quarterback and placekicker, he was also used from time to time as a linebacker during the early years of his career.

In addition to being the oldest QB ever, Blanda also holds the record for being the oldest professional football player in NFL history. Blanda’s career lasted for 26 seasons, which is another record. In 1959, Blanda briefly retired following an injury that made him less desirable as anything other than a kicker.

However, when the American Football League was established in 1960, Blanda was given a second chance, and he played for another 15 years.

However, George Blanda passed away in 2010 at the age of 83. 

Did You Know? 

George Blanda was the first player in the NFL to ever score 2,000 points.


While most players in the NFL retire in their 30s, some have played till their forties, competing with much younger players. They have defied age and marked their place in history while being the greatest at what they do. 

Most of all, the quarterback is one of the toughest positions, and these oldest NFL quarterbacks have done it in power for decades. 

Sit back and reminisce that your favorite quarterback is part of the history of the NFL!


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