The latest time-killing (albeit welcome) offseason project by FOX Sports NFL writer Alex Marvez was to put together a team of the league’s best players who are in their 30s — also known as “aging” in the chew-em-up, spit-em-out world of professional football.
Perusing the lineup, you can get a sense of how this sport takes its toll on the human body. Only one position player, 36-year-old Ravens receiver Steve Smith is on the other side of 35. (The oldest is 42-year-old kicker Adam Vinatieri.) Almost everyone else on the team between 30 and 33 years old.
Aaron Rodgers is Marvez’s pick for quarterback, and surely you can make a link between Rodgers being in his prime at 31 and the long-term benefits of Rodgers spending the first three years of his NFL career as a backup to Brett Favre. The two running backs are Adrian Peterson, who just turned 30, and Frank Gore, who is considered around the league as a physical marvel for not having been worn into the ground yet as a 32-year-old featured back.
The defensive backs that made Marvez’s squad are similarly young 30-somethings. Here are their write-ups from the FOX piece:
CB: Johnathan Joseph, Texans (31)
Although he doesn’t garner the same media attention as contemporaries like Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis, Joseph ranks among the best cornerbacks of his generation. He signed a three-year, $22 million contract extension in mid-June.
CB: Brent Grimes, Dolphins (31)
Grimes, who turns 32 on July 19, recovered from a torn Achilles tendon in 2012 to re-emerge as one of the NFL’s premier cornerbacks. Grimes has reached the Pro Bowl in each of the past two seasons with the Dolphins.
FS: Eric Weddle, Chargers (30)
Weddle is the glue to San Diego’s secondary. He earned his second career All-Pro selection last season after registering 114 tackles and eight passes defensed.
SS: Antoine Bethea, 49ers (30)
The 49ers didn’t skip a beat at strong safety last season when signing Bethea away from Indianapolis to replace Donte Whitner (Cleveland). Bethea earned his third Pro Bowl berth and finished with a personal-best 10 passes defensed.