We already went over some of the top young talent in the NFL with the All-Under-25 Team, and now it’s time to give the veterans recognition. The 2019 All-Over-30 NFL Team includes a few surefire Hall of Famers. To qualify, a player must be 31 or older by the start of the 2019 NFL season on September 5, so ages at that date are listed in parenthesis.
QB: Tom Brady, Patriots (42)
Many NFL quarterbacks seem to get better with age in recent years, as their experience and knowledge is a huge asset—and no one has more experience than Tom Brady. Set to turn 42 in August, Brady has seen about every defense imaginable and has the answer for whatever is thrown at him, and his physical ability has not dropped off as he ages.
RB: Adrian Peterson, Redskins (34)
Frank Gore continues to play at a high level in his mid-30s, but Adrian Peterson is coming off a 1,000-yard season and gets the nod for the All-Over-30 Team running back. When Peterson got going last season, he was one of the better runners in the league; and he also showed he can contribute as a receiver when called upon, as he had one of his better seasons as a pass-catcher in Jay Gruden’s offense.
WR: Antonio Brown, Raiders (31)
Antonio Brown turns 31 next month, but his work ethic—a common theme for all these players, but in particular for the first three—allows him to sustain an elite level of play. AB has over 100 receptions and 1,200 yards in each of the last six seasons, which is simply insane, and he’s coming off a career-high 15 touchdowns last season.
WR: A.J. Green, Bengals (31)
Injuries have been an issue for A.J. Green the last few years, but he was playing exceptionally-well last year before his season-ending toe injury, as he had 45 receptions for 687 yards and six touchdowns through eight games (a pace of 90 receptions for 1,374 yards and 12 touchdowns). There’s some chatter that Green is clearly past his prime, but he should prove people wrong if he stays healthy in 2019.
FLEX: Julian Edelman, Patriots (33)
Larry Fitzgerald was by far the hardest player to leave off the All-Over-30 Team, especially because he impacts the game as a top-notch run blocker in addition to his clutch receiving skills. But Julian Edelman is also one of the most clutch receivers of all-time and is coming off a Super Bowl MVP. With Rob Gronkowski retired, Edelman will be New England’s clear top target this season.
TE: Greg Olsen, Panthers (34)
This All-Over-30 Team includes a number of players that people have counted out before or are counting out now, and Greg Olsen falls into the latter category. Olsen was one of the NFL’s most durable players before foot injuries the last two seasons, so hopefully it was just bad luck that’ll turn back into his favor moving forward. The veteran tight end remains an all-around player that is Cam Newton’s most reliable target.
OT: Trent Williams, Redskins (31)
Trent Williams is in the discussion for best left tackle in the league in my opinion, and he is barely eligible for this All-Over-30 Team, as he turns 31 next month. It’s surprising that Williams has never been named a First-team All-Pro, but he’s been a Pro Bowler each of the past seven seasons.
OG: Rodger Saffold, Titans (31)
Rodger Saffold just turned 31 earlier this month, and his four-year, $44 million contract from the Titans indicates his value around the league. Saffold was a big part of paving running lanes for Todd Gurley and protecting Jared Goff with the Rams, and now he’ll be tasked with helping make Tennessee’s offensive line more consistent.
C: Jason Kelce, Eagles (31)
Eagles center Jason Kelce is probably the best player at his position in football, as he’s very athletic and does damage as a run blocker in space while also holding up in pass protection despite being relatively undersized compared to other interior offensive linemen. There was talk of Kelce potentially retiring, but he signed an extension through 2021 with Philadelphia this offseason.
OG: Marshal Yanda, Ravens (34)
Steelers guard Ramon Foster was in the mix, but fellow AFC North guard Marshal Yanda is the pick for the second guard spot on the All-Over-30 Team. Yanda also signed an extension with his team, as he’ll be with the Ravens through 2020, when he’ll be 36 years old. Yanda is a two-time First-team All-Pro, and he was named Second-team All-Pro four times.
OT: Andrew Whitworth, Rams (37)
Andrew Whitworth is the oldest non-quarterback-or-special-teams player on this team, as he’ll turn 38 at the end of this season. The former Bengal was a big-time addition for Sean McVay’s arrival with the Rams in 2017, and the play of Whitworth might be the most undervalued aspect of the Rams becoming one of the NFL’s best teams the last couple of seasons—the franchise was thrilled when he opted to return for another year.
EDGE: Calais Campbell, Jaguars (33)
Calais Campbell is basically a hybrid defensive lineman that could also be considered as an interior lineman because of the work he does on the inside in passing situations—and he’ll likely play more inside this season after the arrival of Kentucky pass rusher Josh Allen. However, I’m considering him an EDGE player for this team, as he’s been starting at defensive end in the Jaguars’ 4-3 defense. Campbell has had his two most productive seasons the last two years in Jacksonville, as the transition from a 3-4 defensive end in Arizona has been spectacular.
IL: Geno Atkins, Bengals (31)
Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins worked his way from an “undersized” fourth-round pick to one of the most unstoppable defensive linemen in football. Some people counted Atkins out while he dealt with injury a few years ago, but he’s had sack totals of 11.0, 9.0, 9.0, and 10.0 the last four seasons. Atkins has 71.0 career sacks at 31 years old.
IL: Gerald McCoy, Panthers (31)
This second interior linemen spot came down to Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, the second and third overall picks in the 2010 NFL Draft. When Suh is at his best, he’s one of the best players in the league at any position, but McCoy’s consistency gets him the nod. It’ll be weird to see McCoy suit up for the Panthers after nine seasons with the Bucs, but he’ll be a key member of Ron Rivera’s defense.
EDGE: Brandon Graham, Eagles (31)
Brandon Graham doesn’t put up big numbers (he’s never had ten sacks in a season), but he’s an excellent run defender that sets the edge, and he gets more pressure on the quarterback than his sack numbers indicate. Graham had the important strip sack of Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII.
LB: Thomas Davis, Chargers (36)
Linebacker is probably the most difficult position to select for the All-Over-30 Team, and Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee was also in the mix for one of the spots. Longtime Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis spent 13 seasons in Carolina, and now he’s with the Chargers, where he’ll give the linebacking corps a boost as they look to compete for a title.
LB: Clay Matthews, Rams (33)
Clay Matthews has 83.5 career sacks and could obviously be considered an EDGE, but I’ll classify him as a linebacker to get him on here—and that might be where the Rams mostly utilize him in 2019. Matthews didn’t spend quite as much time in Green Bay (ten seasons) as Davis did in Carolina, but it’s still tough to picture him playing for any other team but the Packers.
LB: Lorenzo Alexander, Bills (36)
After mostly working as an impact special-teams player for the first several years of his career, Lorenzo Alexander found a bigger role for the Bills in 2016, racking up 12.5 sacks in Rex Ryan’s defense. Alexander hasn’t had the same sack numbers the last two years in Sean McDermott’s defense, but he’s still made a bunch of plays well into his 30s.
CB: Aqib Talib, Rams (33)
Marcus Peters struggled as the clear top cornerback for the Rams while Aqib Talib was hurt last season, and the secondary clearly got a huge boost when Talib was able to get back on the field. The former Buccaneer, Patriot, and Bronco has no issue coming up to make tackles, and he has a knack for the end zone with ten defensive touchdowns in his career.
S: Devin McCourty, Patriots (32)
When he hit free agency a few years ago, Devin McCourty was a highly sought-after asset that ultimately returned to New England to win a couple more Super Bowls—and the Patriots signing him to a five-year $47.5 million contract shows his value, even if he doesn’t put up numbers like some other safeties around the league. McCourty does everything Bill Belichick asks of him, and he rarely makes mistakes.
S: Malcolm Jenkins, Eagles (31)
Malcolm Jenkins was clearly one of the best signings in Eagles franchise history, and not re-signing him is undoubtedly a regret for the Saints. The versatile veteran safety was probably at his peak around 2015, but he still plays at a high level on all areas of the field.
CB: Richard Sherman, 49ers (31)
Three-time First-team All-Pro Richard Sherman was off the radar last season, as he went from the perennial contender Seahawks to a below average Niners team. But Sherman played well despite it not showing in the stats. 2018 was Sherman’s first season without an interception, but quarterbacks simply didn’t need or want to test him much.
DB: Patrick Chung, Patriots (32)
New Rams safety Eric Weddle could have been the choice for this last defensive back spot on the All-Over-30 Team, but I’m going with Patriots safety Patrick Chung. Going on his 11th NFL season and tenth with New England, Chung is one of the most underrated players in the league. Chung can do everything as a safety, he can drop down to nickelback, and he can play linebacker.
K: Greg Zuerlein, Rams (31)
Stephen Gostkowski, Matt Bryant, and Robbie Gould are among the veteran kickers that could have been the kicker selection over Greg Zuerlein, but Greg “The Leg” has 60-yard range and hit 95% of his field goal attempts a couple of seasons ago.
P: Brett Kern, Titans (33)
Last season, Titans punter Brett Kern was second in punts inside the 20 (39), and he was fifth in punting average (47.1). Sam Koch and Thomas Morstead were among the other over-30 options at punter.
KR: Andre Roberts, Bills (31)
Veteran receiver Andre Roberts popped off the screen with his explosiveness as a returner last season, and he led the league in return yardage (1,174) with a 29.4 average and one touchdown. Roberts is now moving from the Jets to the Bills as he looks to keep having a big impact on special teams.
PR: Dwayne Harris, Raiders (31)
Roberts tied for the league lead in average yards per return on punt returns last year, so he also could have gotten the nod here. But Dwayne Harris was also at an NFL-best 14.1 yards per punt return, including an awesome heads-up play on Christmas Eve for the Raiders when he returned a punt 99 yards for a touchdown after the ball was touched by a member of the Broncos (and thus returnable without the consequence of a turnover).
ST: Matthew Slater, Patriots (33)
Matthew Slater’s dad Jackie is a Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman, and Matthew would easily get into the Hall of Fame of special teams if there was one—he might even get some consideration for Canton because he’s been so good on the third unit for the Patriots over the years. Slater will remain a key member of one of the best special-teams units in the leagues in 2019.