One is obvious, but two former Detroit Lions have made CBS Sports’ list of the best NFL players over 30 years old.
It’s a running gag that Detroit Lions players have to go elsewhere to find success, or any team success they enjoyed in their career came before they landed in Detroit. The latest example is Matthew Stafford, who was traded to the Los Angeles Rams and won a Super Bowl in his first season there.
As could be expected with a young roster, the Lions have just one player over 30 years old entering the 2022 season (defensive lineman Michael Brockers). On CBS Sports’ recent ranking of the top 30 NFL players 30 years old or older for the coming season, a declining Brockers is nowhere to be found.
Two former Detroit Lions make best players over 30 list
Of course Tom Brady lands at No. 1 on the list, with Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Donald, Russell Wilson and Trent Williams rounding out the top-five.
Stafford is an obvious candidate for the list, and he lands at No. 8.
8. Rams QB Matthew Stafford (34)
Even after his title run, he’s probably a little closer to “good” than “great.” But you can’t teach the cannon arm he boasts, which fits so seamlessly in Sean McVay’s offense. Nothing says he shouldn’t remain a top-10 producer under center.
At No. 25 on the list is current Philadelphia Eagles and former Lions cornerback Darius Slay.
Like any corner, he’s not immune to surrendering the big play, or allowing a No. 1 receiver to win contested balls. But Slay’s confidence never wavers, and he’s almost always handsy at the right time. He was a true leader for the Eagles in 2021.
Slay was of course traded to Philadelphia in 2020 after surfacing among many players who had an issue with former head coach Matt Patricia.
Slay remains one of the true lock-down corners in the NFL, by skill set and demeanor. How’d he fit into the current situation in Detroit, just like Stafford, is unclear. If not for the trade he likely would have moved on between then and now, for greener pastures all the way around.