NFL players who could retire after the 2021 season

Father Time comes for every NFL player eventually. These 25 players could be entering their final NFL seasons in 2021.


Troy Taormina / USA Today Sports Images

Brady has to call it quits at some point, right? The GOAT is coming off his seventh Super Bowl championship and still going strong, but he’s also the oldest player in the NFL at age 44.


Duane Brown, LT, Seahawks

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Russell Wilson’s blindside blocker continues to play at a high level. Now 36, he could decide to hang up his cleats after the current dispute.


Calais Campbell, DT, Ravens

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Campbell has made the Pro Bowl in six of the last seven seasons as a late bloomer at age 35. However, he played a career-low 12 games last season, and has seen his sack total decline recently. Campbell is clearly on the backend of his career.


Jared Cook, TE, Chargers

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Cook moved back west to sunny Los Angeles for his 12th NFL season. At age 34, he could be entering his final year, especially after his stats declined with the Saints last season.


Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Washington

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Fitzpatrick is getting another opportunity as a starter now with his ninth team. The journeyman will turn 39 in November and could retire if this attempt doesn’t go as well as hoped.


Joe Flacco, QB, Eagles

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Flacco had a productive 11 seasons in Baltimore that included a Super Bowl, but he’s entering his third season as a backup. He enters his age 36 season with a clear decline in his play.


Jimmy Graham, TE, Bears

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Graham is a five-time Pro Bowler, but his last invite was 2017. The wear and tear have accumulated over the years as Graham has declined on the field. With the growth of Cole Kmet, Graham could see his way out of Chicago and the NFL after his forthcoming age 35 season.


Everson Griffen, DE, Vikings

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Griffen returned to the Vikings this year after one year away, but he could have a more limited role in his age 34 season. The four-time Pro Bowler is clearly nearing the end of his career.


Chad Henne, QB, Chiefs

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Henne saw several seasons early in his career as a starter in Miami and Jacksonville, but recently he’s remembered for his great plays in the AFC Divisional Round last year against the Browns after Patrick Mahomes was injured. Henne enters his age 36 season as Mahomes’ backup and could move on soon.


Richie Incognito, OG, Raiders

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Incognito revitalized his career with the Raiders after struggles on and off the field earlier in his career. He played only two games last season due to injury but is giving it one more go at age 38.


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Mark Ingram, RB, Texans

Mark Ingram, RB, Texans

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Despite missing time to injury late last year, Ingram is getting another chance at playing time with Houston this season. He will turn 32 this season, an age when many running backs decide to hang up their cleats.


Melvin Ingram, LB, Steelers

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Ingram moved on from the Chargers after nine productive seasons. He joins Pittsburgh as a pass rusher role but failed to record a sack in seven games last season. This could be his final opportunity at age 32.


DeSean Jackson, WR, Rams

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Jackson still flashes speed at age 34, but injuries have been a constant in recent seasons. He’s trying to help the Rams to a Super Bowl in what could be his final chance.


Malcolm Jenkins, S, Saints

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Jenkins has been one of the faces of the NFL for the last several years and continues to be a productive leader for the Saints in his mid-30’s. He will turn 34 in December, which could be his final season.


Ryan Kerrigan, LB, Eagles

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Kerrigan has become a role player recently and recorded a career-low 5.5 sacks in back-to-back seasons. The Eagles will install him in the same role this season at age 33, in what could be his final season.


Marcedes Lewis, TE, Packers

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Lewis has had a very limited role in his three seasons with the Packers but continues to prosper as a blocker. The tight end is now 37 and could be entering his last season.


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Kyle Long, OL, Chiefs

Kyle Long, OL, Chiefs

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Long came out of retirement to join the Chiefs but missed all of training camp due to a leg injury. The oft-injured lineman hopes to make a contribution off the bench later this year, but it remains to be seen how much he has left.


Alex Mack, OC, 49ers

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Mack reunited with Kyle Shanahan this season, after playing under Shanahan in Atlanta. The five-time Pro Bowler is clearly making an effort to win a Super Bowl as he nears the end of his career at age 35.


Josh Norman, CB, 49ers

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Norman had a quiet free-agent market after struggling in Buffalo last season, but he signed with San Francisco just before Week 1. At age 33, he probably doesn’t have much football left. 


Jason Peters, LT, Bears

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A nine-time Pro Bowler and likely future Hall of Famer, Peters is giving the Bears much-needed help after spending the last 12 years in Philadelphia. He’s struggled with injuries in recent seasons and is now one of the oldest players in the league at 39.


Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

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There were whispers that Rodgers would retire in the offseason due to his falling out with the Packers front office. He opted to return, but there’s no telling what the next offseason will bring. He could call it quits for a career off the field at age 38.


Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers

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The last two years have been a rollercoaster for Big Ben due to injury and decline, but the Steelers and Roethlisberger are giving it one more go. He enters his age 39 season hanging on to Super Bowl hopes.


Matthew Slater, ST, Patriots

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Slater has made quite a career for himself as a special teams coverage specialist, making nine Pro Bowls and winning three Super Bowls. At age 36, he’s one of the oldest players in the league.


Andrew Whitworth, LT, Rams

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Whitworth has been a late bloomer with four Pro Bowls after age 30, but he struggled with injuries last year and now enters his age 40 season. His longevity on the offensive line is unprecedented.


K.J. Wright, LB, Raiders

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The Seahawks moved on from Wright in the offseason despite starting 16 games. He’s moved to Vegas at age 32 but seemed to have a very quiet free-agent market.

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