The majority of the talent in the NFL is young talent. Players like Aaron Rodgers and Calvin Johnson are just getting started with their careers, but they are already the top players at their respective positions.
In the NFL, getting older generally means losing playing time. However, there will always be exceptions to the rule.
Here is a look a the NFL's All-Over-30 Team.
This one really shouldn't come as a surprise. Tom Brady has been one of the top quarterbacks in the league for the past decade, and it actually appears that he is getting better as he ages.
The 2012 season could end up being his best statistical season yet thanks to all of the weapons brought in. The New England Patriots appeared to be stockpiling receivers during the offseason, and I'm sure Brady had no complaints.
While Drew Brees (33 years old) and Peyton Manning (36 years old) deserved some consideration, Brady is simply the better quarterback. In fact, if I had to pick a backup quarterback for Brady, I would probably go with Eli Manning (31 years old) over Brees or Eli's older brother.
30 years old is known as the "death age" for a running back in the NFL. In fact, Fred Jackson is the only running back in the league over 30 years old (Michael Turner is only 30) who gets the majority of his team's carries.
Jackson had a major breakout season in 2011 before missing the final six games of the season with a fractured fibula. Despite only playing 10 games, Jackson still managed to put up nearly 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards.
If Jackson can stay healthy during the 2012 season, he has the potential to be an MVP candidate and could even lead the Buffalo Bills back to the playoffs.
Greg Jones may be one of the most unappreciated players in the entire NFL.
While he doesn't get many carries or opportunities to catch the ball out of the backfield, he is still the lead blocker for one of the best running backs in the league, Maurice Jones-Drew.
He may not make headlines, but he consistently gets the job done.
This receiver tandem might be one of the shortest in NFL history, but I would still take them over the majority of starting duos in the NFL right now.
Both Steve Smith and Wes Welker are coming off monster seasons in 2011 and proved that they have no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. What makes both of these players so special is their incredible ability to figure out how to get open on all parts of the field.
The only other receiver I even considered putting on this list was Reggie Wayne (33 years old), but he took a step back last year while both Smith and Welker took gigantic steps forward.
Not only would I take Tony Gonzalez on this team right now, I would probably take him again in five years. He never seems to age and continues to produce at a high level.
When talking about the best tight ends in NFL history, Gonzalez deserves to be mentioned near the top, if not the very top, of the list. In fact, Gonzalez is one of the best receivers in NFL history, regardless of position.
While he is losing ground to players like Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, he is still one of the better tight ends in the league, despite having way more mileage on his body.
While neither Bryant McKinnie or Jordan Gross are considered the best at their position, they are still two extremely talented offensive tackles.
McKinnie had a rough few years with the Minnesota Vikings before moving on to the Baltimore Ravens and excelling in their offense. He is a massive individual that loves to get physical at the line.
Gross has been a consistent producer throughout his career, making a few Pro Bowls and being voted to the All-Pro Team back in 2008. His production is vital for the continued development of Cam Newton.
Both McKinnie and Gross should provide solid play for their respective teams in the foreseable future.
Much like the offensive tackles on this team, Steve Hutchinson and David Diehl aren't the best at their position in the league, but there are only a handful of players better than them at offensive guard right now.
In fact, Hutchinson is widely considering one of the best offensive guards to ever play the game. His age has begun to slow him down over the past few years, but he is still extremely productive in both the run game and the pass game.
Diehl has always been one of the more underrated guards in the league, despite being a key member of two Super Bowl teams. He has played his entire career for the New York Giants and started at multiple positions across the offensive line.
The general rule of thumb for centers in the NFL is the older they get, the better they become. It takes years of experience to truly master the position.
Scott Wells is currently the best veteran center in the league and is coming off a Pro Bowl year in 2011. He will be with a new team in the St. Louis Rams for 2012, and while Aaron Rodgers will certainly miss him, you can bet that Sam Bradford is thankful to have him on the roster.
While Dwight Freeney is technically considered an outside linebacker in the Indianapolis Colts' new 3-4 defense, he has played his entire career as a defensive end and is definitely worthy of a spot on this list.
In fact, Freeney and Julius Peppers are two of the best pass-rushing defensive ends in the NFL, despite being older players. They both possess incredible motors, athleticism and a desire to do everything in their power to get after the quarterback.
These are two future Hall of Fame players who have both spent the majority of their careers as the top defensive ends in the NFL.
These are two players who have the ability to dominate the game like few defensive tackles in the NFL. They also happen to be two of the most decorated defensive tackles over the last few years.
Both Richard Seymour and Justin Smith are vital to the success of their team's defenses. In fact, Smith was a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate during the 2011 season. Without him, the San Francisco 49ers wouldn't have been anywhere near as dominant against the run.
What is scary for the rest of the NFL is that neither of these players appear to be slowing down at all. They actually appear to be getting much, much better with each passing year.
These are two different types of outside linebackers, but they both belong in the discussion for the top 3-4 and 4-3 outside linebackers in the league, respectively. There isn't much that Lance Briggs and James Harrison can't do for their teams.
Over the course of their careers, they have combined to make 12 Pro Bowls and be voted onto seven All-Pro teams, making them two of the most decorated linebackers in the NFL. They are also two of the better competitors and the NFL, and even though Harrison has been labeled "dirty" in recent years, you cannot doubt his passion for the game.
Neither Briggs nor Harrison appear ready to give up their spot on the Pro Bowl roster or the All-Pro team anytime soon, and they should continue to dominate the NFL for the next few years.
What else can be said about Ray Lewis that hasn't already been said? I mean, he's only been the most dominant linebacker in the NFL for the past 15 years, and will likely retire as the best middle linebacker in NFL history.
While his play on the field took a step back during the 2011 season, he still has the ability to make a major impact against both the run and pass. Lewis' pure passion for the game also makes him one of the most enjoyable players to watch in the league.
At 37 years old, we might not see many more years of Lewis on the field, so we should enjoy watching him play while we can.
Charles Woodson and Champ Bailey are two of the best cornerbacks in NFL history and their play hasn't diminished with age. Bailey continues to be a shutdown cornerback and Woodson has even gotten better in the past few years.
These two have combined for 104 interceptions over the course of their careers, along with 19 Pro Bowls and 13 All-Pro teams. They are the defensive leaders for their respective teams and continue to make life difficult for every quarterback in the NFL.
It is likely that both Woodson and Bailey will end up in the Hall of Fame when they retire.
Of all the positions on this "oldies" team, this one is the most talented. Not only are Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu the top two safeties in the NFL right now, they are two of the top safeties to ever play the game.
They both have the ability to impact the game in so many ways. They can make plays against both the run and the pass, and once the ball is in their hands they become dynamic playmakers.
Between the two of them, they have been to 15 Pro Bowls and have been named to the All-Pro team 13 times. There is no doubt that they will both end up in the Hall of Fame and go down as two of the best players to ever suit up in the NFL.
Kicker is one of the only positions where the majority of the best players are over the age of 30. It was hard to choose just one player, but Sebastian Janikowski is too good to pass up.
While he may not put up the best statistics in the league, he is certainly one of the most talented kickers to ever play the game.
While Shane Lechler might not be the best punter in the NFL anymore (Andy Lee of the San Francisco 49ers now takes that title), there is no doubt that he easily among the top punters in the league.
He is as consistent as they come and makes up one-half of the best special teams duo in the league with Sebastian Janikowski.