Which player has had the longest NFL career in the history of the league? There have only been 12 players to ever surpass 300 games played. In other words, it is tough to have a long career in the NFL.
Longest NFL career top 10 ranking
According to Career Trend, the average length of an NFL career is 3.3 years. This is usually due to injury or being cut from a team.
To last in the NFL, players must be one of the best on their team and have a little bit of luck in staying injury-free. The players on this list were able to do both and have careers that span closer to three decades than they do three years.
Here are the 10 longest NFL careers of all-time.
10 John Carney and Brett Favre (302 games)
Carney spent 22 years as a kicker in the NFL, spending most of his time with the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints.
Favre spent 20 years as a quarterback in the league. He owns the record for most consecutive games played in the NFL with 297 and was the starter for all of them.
9. Jerry Rice (303 games)
Jerry Rice sits ninth all-time in most NFL games played with 303. He spent the majority of his 20-year career with the 49ers, who he helped capture three Super Bowls.
Rice was named to the Pro Bowl 13 times in his career and was First Team All-Pro 10 times. He ranks first all-time in receptions, yards from scrimmage, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and all-purpose yards.
He played his final season at the age of 42 in 2004, splitting time with the Raiders and Seahawks.
8. Phil Dawson (305 games)
Phil Dawson was a kicker in the NFL for 20 seasons, spending 14 of them with the Cleveland Browns.
Dawson started his first season in 1999 with the Browns and then would finish his career in 2018 with the Arizona Cardinals. He was named to the Pro Bowl once, while his 441 field goals made sits eighth in league history.
Although he had one of the longest NFL careers of all-time, Dawson only made it to the playoffs twice.
7. Tom Brady (318 games)
Having the longest NFL career of any active player, Tom Brady still has a chance to climb further up this list. Brady just completed his 22nd season in the league.
Known as one of the greatest NFL players of all time, Brady holds a ton of records to his name. A few of them include passing touchdowns, pass attempts, playoff games played, and passing yards.
Brady has won seven Super Bowls in his career, which includes six with the New England Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
6. Jason Hanson (327 games)
Jason Hanson is the only player on this list to spend his entire career with one team. He spent all 21 seasons as a kicker with the Detroit Lions between 1992-2012.
Hanson only missed eight extra-point attempts in his career, with his first coming in his third season. In 1997 and 1999, Hanson was named to the Pro Bowl, while in 1995 he led the league in extra points made with 48.
Hanson’s 495 field goals made is the fourth most in NFL history, and he also sits fourth all-time in points scored with 2,150.
5. George Blanda (340 games)
Blanda started his NFL career all the way back in 1949 and spent time with four different teams. He has the longest NFL career in terms of seasons played, playing 26 seasons in the league.
4. Jeff Feagles (352 games)
Jeff Feagles spent 22 seasons as a punter in the NFL.
He played for five different teams throughout his career, which included the Giants, Seahawks, Patriots, Eagles, and Cardinals. Feagles was named to the Pro Bowl in 1995 and again in 2008.
His career 1,713 punts are the most in NFL history, along with his 71,211 punting yards.
3. Gary Anderson (353 games)
Gary Anderson was 45 years old when he officially called it quits as a kicker in the NFL. He played 353 games with five teams throughout his career.
Anderson spent the majority of his playing days with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was named to the Pro Bowl three times. He was named to the Pro Bowl once more in 1998 with the Vikings, and also made the First Team All-Pro that same year.
2. Adam Vinatieri (365 games)
One of the oldest NFL players ever, Adam Vinatieri did not hang up the cleats until he was 47 years old. He played 24 seasons in the league, the first 10 with the Patriots and the final 14 with the Colts.
Vinatieri is a four-time Super Bowl champion, which included three with New England and one with Indianapolis. He ranks first in NFL history for field goals made in a career and points scored.
1. Morten Andersen (382 games)
The longest NFL career belongs to kicker Morten Andersen. He owns the record for most NFL games played with 382 under his belt.
Andersen spent time with the Saints, Falcons, Giants, Chiefs, and Vikings during his playing days from 1982 to 2007. When his career first started, there were only 28 teams in the league, by the time he retired, there were 32.
Andersen was named to seven Pro Bowls and three First Team All-Pro during his long-lasting career.