On the list of the oldest starting quarterbacks in the NFL heading into the new season, you can find Super Bowl champions like Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady, next to players with almost no playoff experience like Jay Cutler, or ones with none at all, like Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: 32
Born on December 2, 1983, Rodgers waited three years behind Brett Favre before finally becoming a starter for the Packers. Since then, it’s been a pretty fun ride for both him and the team, winning two MVP awards and one Super Bowl MVP, leading Green Bay to the title following the 2010 season, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in SB XLV.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears: 33
Born on April 29, 1983, Cutler entered the league in 2006, and played on the Denver Broncos for 3 seasons before a trade sent him to Chicago. He did lead the Bears to the NFC championship game in 2010, but since then has failed to get them into the playoffs. His 92.3 passer rating in 2015 is a career best for him.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets: 33
It took Fitzpatrick and the Jets a very long time to decide on signing a new contract. The Harvard grad has been in the league since 2005, but he put up his best numbers in 2015, with career highs in passing yards and touchdowns, not to mention the closest he’s ever been to leading a team into the playoffs. The Jets are his sixth NFL team after playing in St. Louis, Houston, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Tennessee. He was born on November 24, 1982.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers: 34
Born on March 2, 1982, Roethlisberger is starting his 13th season as the #1 QB for the Steelers, hoping to stay a little bit healthier this season after missing four games in 2015. A two-time Super Bowl champion and a four-time Pro Bowler (including last season), Roethlisberger set a career high in completion percentage last season, completing 68% of this throws.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers: 34
The Chargers all-time leader in career wins, pass completions, and passing touchdowns was born on December 8, 1981. After sitting behind Drew Brees for two years, he took over the starting role, and hasn’t missed a single game or start in 10 consecutive years. A five-time pro bowl selection (last in 2013), Rivers won the NFL comeback player of the year in 2013, and has thrown for over 4000 yards in a season in 7 of the last 8 campaigns.
Eli Manning, New York Giants: 35
Born on January 3, 1981. he’s no longer the only Manning brother with two Super Bowl wins, but is the only Manning brother in the NFL. With 194 consecutive starts including the playoffs, Manning is the current Iron Man among NFL quarterbacks, 33 starts away from reaching Peyton’s 227, and 127 starts away from the all-time record held by Brett Favre. He’s a two-time Super Bowl MVP, and threw for a career high 35 touchdowns last season.
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys: 36
Born on April 21, 1980, Romo is heading into another last chance season with the Cowboys, although this time it might be true. After a strong 2014 season, including a playoff win after what seemed like ages, the Cowboys finished last in the NFC East (4-12), with Romo playing in just 4 games, twice injuring his collarbone. He missed all of 2010 too, and always seems to be dealing with one, two or five lingering injuries at once. At some point, it’s going to be too much for him to handle.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals: 36
Last year was the best of Palmer’s 13-year career in pretty much every aspect, including the first time he’s led a team to the conference championship game while staying healthy the entire year. Palmer made the Pro Bowl in 2015 for the first time in almost a decade, winning the NFL comeback of the year award after playing in just six games the year before. He was born on December 27, 1979.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints: 37
Born on January 15, 1979, Brees missed a game for the first time since 2009 last season, as the Saints failed to make the playoffs for the third time in four years. He finished as the NFL’s passing leader for the sixth time in his career. He led the Saints to their only Super Bowl title (and appearance) after the 2009 season, winning the SB MVP as well.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots: 39
Finally, with Peyton Manning out of the way, Brady can celebrate being the oldest starting quarterback in the NFL. Well, he’s not exactly celebrating considering he’ll miss the first four games of the season due to Roger Goodell getting his way in the Deflategate saga, and Brady giving up on appealing to the Supreme Court. Brady is a four-time Super Bowl champion and three-time Super Bowl MVP, currently on a streak of 126 consecutive starts at quarterback for the Pats, including playoff games. He was born on August 3, 1977.