For a variety of reasons, a notable NFL player suddenly falls off the map and becomes forgotten about…even though they’re on an active roster.
Whether it’s injuries, a decline in production and/or other factors, it’s easy to forget that certain NFL veterans are still playing. And by “playing”, we mean being signed to an active NFL roster for the start of the 2023 season.
So here’s your friendly reminder on 10 active NFL players who are still active!
Hard to believe that it’s already been a decade since Keenum replaced Matt Schaub as the Houston Texans’ starting QB in the midst of a miserable 2013 season. Keenum did well enough there on football’s worst team to earn himself approximately 300 million one-year pacts to serve as a backup across the league.
Here’s a minor recap on where Keenum has gone since his career year with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017: One year in Denver, one year in Washington, two years in Cleveland and one year in Buffalo.
In today’s edition of “Where is he now?” Oh, you know, Keenum is back where it all started! Right there in H-Town, as the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart behind rookie CJ Stroud and previous starter Davis Mills.
If you were to tell us back in 2013 that Keenum would be with the Texans in 2023, we would’ve guessed that he emerged as a star out of nowhere and led this team to multiple Super Bowls. But nah, the co-hero of the Minneapolis Miracle alongside Stefon Diggs is just hanging around collecting shiny paychecks to hold a clipboard and attempt double-digit pass attempts a year.
Pretty good gig if you can get it!
If you’ve forgotten that Beasley is still active…we don’t blame you. It’s awfully tough to keep track of his retirement-unretirement announcements as well as the amount of teams he’s joined.
Rest assured, we triple-checked and confirmed that Beasley is indeed on an NFL roster. It’s with the New York Giants, and it shouldn’t be hard to picture since the G-Men mostly have the same colors as his old club, the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills released Beasley in the 2022 offseason. He joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two games before announcing his retirement. Two months later, however, he un-retired and rejoined the Bills.
After spending four months on the open market, Beasley agreed to a deal with the Giants. So there you have it: The speedy and slick wideout is still in the game after going back-and-forth on his football future.
And given the not-so-great wide receiver depth chart in the Meadowlands, Beasley could actually put together one of his best professional seasons with his new team. That’s if he doesn’t retire-then-unretire within a couple of months again…
He never emerged as a true Pro Bowl-level player, but Golden has done pretty well for himself as a former second-round pick out of Missouri back in 2015.
Golden showed signs of becoming a star when he racked up 12.5 sacks to go along with four forced fumbles for the Arizona Cardinals in 2016. After two frustrating subsequent seasons there, he joined the New York Giants and posted 10 sacks in a bounce-back 2019 campaign.
Golden was traded back to Arizona in the midst of the 2020 season. He turned in another superb year with the Cards in 2021, tallying 11 sacks and four forced fumbles. But after his production dropped considerably in 2022, Golden was released.
Then in May, the Pittsburgh Steelers added Golden to upgrade their pass-rushing depth. So in case you were away on vacation during that time, yeah…the ex-Cardinals star is now with TJ Watt and Cameron Heyward in Steel City.
We’ll see how much Golden has left in the tank in his age-32 season. But at least this sneaky Steelers team is giving him extra cash and the chance to win a ring…or at least rebuild his free agent value for next year.
The undrafted product out of Georgia Southern turned heads with a strong season for the San Francisco 49ers in 2018. That year, Breida had 814 rushing yards and three touchdowns and 1,075 total yards of offense.
But Breida quickly learned the disadvantage of being a running back in a Kyle Shanahan offense. Anyone can flourish in that system, and Raheem Mostert wound up emerging as the 49ers’ lead back that year — with Tevin Coleman getting his fair share of carries too.
Breida had uneventful stints with Miami in 2020 and with Buffalo in 2021 before joining the Giants in 2022. He had just 220 rushing yards and one TD playing behind Saquon Barkley, but the G-Men saw enough to give him a one-year extension this offseason.
Three straight seasons of under 300 rushing yards with only two total rushing TDs in that span, but Breida has found a way to stick around in the NFL. Good for him, we suppose.
It’s sure gonna be hard to remember that he’s in the league considering that he’ll see very few reps behind Barkley in 2023.
Time really flies in the NFL. Jones once looked like a long-term cornerstone piece on the Atlanta Falcons defense. But his lone Pro Bowl nod came way-back-when in 2017 — six years ago.
The standout LSU linebacker was drafted in the second-round by the Falcons at No. 52 overall in 2016. His efforts helped the Falcons to a Super Bowl 51 appearance — we know how that played out —- and to another postseason berth in 2017.
That year, Jones had three interceptions, 10 pass defenses, one sack and a career-high 138 combined tackles. Unfortunately, he never got close to those totals again and was merely your average Joe of a starter over the next four seasons.
Jones got a fresh start with the Cleveland Browns last year and low-key put up solid numbers in a rotational role: 2.5 sacks, one interception and three pass defenses. It was just easy to overlook because the Browns were pretty irrelevant last season.
You probably missed the news that Jones signed with the Falcons’ rivals, the Carolina Panthers, in July — shortly before the start of preseason. It remains to be seen how much playing time he’ll get under Frank Reich, but we just figured it was a good time to remind you that Jones is still in the NFL anyway. That was the point here.
Hey, who knows? A healthy Jones might bounce back and make the most of his new fresh start in Carolina.
We’re in an era where the running back position is devaluing more and more each year. Top-level guys aren’t getting paid top dollar anymore, as we’ve seen here in 2023 with the likes of Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, Jonathan Taylor et al.
But it doesn’t hurt to be a journeyman RB2 like Latavius Murray, who keeps landing nice paychecks and chances to chase a championship ring. Here he is at the age of 33, and Murray is now ring-chasing with the Buffalo Bills.
It feels like Murray keeps being overlooked because most of his recent teams haven’t exactly been competitive. But now he’s a proud member of the Bills roster — albeit likely as the No. 3 RB behind James Cook and Damien Harris.
Murray had his best season for the Oakland Raiders back in 2015, earning a Pro Bowl nod after rushing for 1,066 yards and six TDs. A year later, he had a career-high 12 rushing scores..
Murray went on to enjoy success as an RB2 in both Minnesota and New Orleans,consistently putting up over 500 yards rushing. He had another productive year with Baltimore in 2021 and enjoyed a productive year for the Denver Broncos in 2022, recording 703 rushing yards and five TDs.
He just keeps giving out those 500-yard seasons as a backup RB. Now that he’s in Buffalo, perhaps the average fan will be given a firm reminder that he’s still very much active and well.
Zuerlein was widely popular among football fans thanks to his two awesome nicknames: “Legatron” and “Greg the Leg”, thanks to his mastery of making lengthy field goals beyond 55 yards.
The ex-Los Angeles Rams’ special teams weapon earned his lone Pro Bowl nod back in 2017 when he made a ridiculous 95 percent of his field goals. And then of course he made the game-tying 48-yard field goal and the subsequent game-winning 57-yarder in OT of the 2018 NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints.
But the Rams cut ties with Zuerlein after a woeful frustrating 2019 season that saw him make just 72.7 kicks. That obviously worked out for the Rams, who went on to win a Super Bowl 56 title thanks to the ultra-reliable and clutch performances of Matt Gay.
Zuerlein spent the next two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys but once again struggled with consistency and was let go in 2022. He wound up landing with the New York Jets and landed their starting job for 2023 despite finishing the year with a mere 81.1 field goal percentage.
While everyone was going crazy over the Aaron Rodgers-to-the-Jets trade, did you overlook the fact that the Jets actually re-signed Zuerlein this offseason? Yeah, the guy who was last an actual-elite kicker a half-decade ago is still on an NFL roster — and on a team with Super Bowl aspirations no less.
We’re fascinated to see how this plays out…
Fun fact: Among all active players currently signed to an NFL roster, Lewis has played the second-most NFL games. Lewis, who entered the league in 2006, trails only Aaron Rodgers — who broke into the NFL a year earlier.
Lewis’ longevity is surprising though admirable considering that his stats have never been elite. The ex-Jacksonville Jaguar earned his lone Pro Bowl nod in 2010 by hauling in 58 receptions for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns.
He never came close to those numbers again, but it’s Lewis’ dominance as a blocker that has kept him around this long. He spent his first 12 years in Jacksonville before joining Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers in 2018, where he spent the next five years.
So where is Lewis now? He didn’t have to travel too far after leaving Green Bay, having joined the Chicago Bears on a one-year deal.
Needless to say, his blocking and leadership skills will be greatly appreciated on a young rebuilding Chicago team whose pass protection has been awful for a while now.
Brown was once among the NFL’s premier offensive tackles, enjoying productive years with both the Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks.
The five-time Pro Bowler has been past his prime for a while now, and as he pushes 40, it’s hard to believe the man is still playing. Not only is he on the New York Jets’ roster, but he’s one of their starting offensive tackles alongside the injury-prone Mekhi Becton.
It probably didn’t help Brown in that the Jets were completely irrelevant last year. But now that they have Aaron Rodgers, you’ll be reminded aplenty that he’s still kicking around in the NFL at the age of 38.
Brown get his long-awaited shot at a Super Bowl ring with the four-time MVP now in town. Let’s see if he can hold up his end of the bargain.
Remember when Prater was once viewed as one of football’s best and most reliable kicker? He was a special secret weapon for that record-breaking Denver Broncos’ offense in 2013.
Before Justin Tucker set the new record in 2021, Prater held the honors of kicking the longest field goal in NFL history at 64 yards — in the historic Broncos’ 2013 season no less. But he lost his starting job to Brandon McManus after being suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and the Broncos wound up cutting him.
Prater landed with the Detroit Lions in 2014, and he would stay there until the 2020 campaign — helping them to a pair of postseason appearances along the way. Easy to forget, but folks…this man is still active and doing just fine for himself.
After a tough first year in Arizona, Prater rebounded by making 88 percent of field goal attempts in the 2022 season. That was enough for him to retain the starting job for 2023 — and that’s saying quite a bit seeing how Arizona has been jinxed by awful kicking for a while now.
What other NFLers do fans totally forget are still playing today?
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