The Green Bay Packers have a very unique distinction in 2022. After the retirement of Baltimore Ravens punter Sam Koch this offseason, Marcedes Lewis remains the only player left from the 2006 Draft under contract in the NFL. Koch’s retirement also highlighted the fact that Aaron Rodgers is the longest tenured player by any one team in the NFL at the moment. Furthermore, he is also the last player from the 2005 Draft under contract in the NFL. Of course, Aaron Rodgers already holds many NFL records and will likely set a few more before his career is over. Lewis, though, has his eye on a very special record: most seasons played by a tight end.
Marcedes Lewis Will Tie the Record for Most Seasons Played by a Tight End This Year
The NFL record for most seasons played by a tight end is 17, held by Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten. Marcedes Lewis will tie that record this year as he is entering his 17th year in the NFL. What is astonishing about this feat is that Lewis did not plan on playing more than 10 years in the NFL. By that time, he figured, he would either be too hurt to play or lose his passion for the game. That did not happen.
The longevity of Marcedes Lewis’ career is really something special. He has played in 234 regular season games, which ranks 99th all-time. For reference, Jason Witten played 271 NFL regular season games and Tony Gonzalez played 270. Of course, Lewis may not have been able to stay in the NFL this long if not for the Green Bay Packers.
Marcedes Lewis and the Green Bay Packers Are Perfect for Each Other
There was a time during his NFL career that Marcedes Lewis was a more traditional receiving tight end. In 2010, he made the Pro Bowl as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars after catching 58 passes for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns. Over time, though, Lewis has evolved his game to become more a blocking tight end. As he has aged and slowed, his has remained strong and capable as an extra blocker at the line of scrimmage. Oftentimes, Lewis is referred to as a bonus offensive lineman in the Packers offense. It is easy to see why:
Running behind Marcedes Lewis? What a concept. pic.twitter.com/RNUJBI3vIF
— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) December 17, 2018
While his best receiving days are behind him, there are times in which Marcedes Lewis turns back the clock and runs with the best of them:
Marcedes Lewis pulled out the Juke Move 2x pic.twitter.com/dMphtJSJvU
— IKE Packers Podcast (@IKE_Packers) December 19, 2021
Give Matt LaFleur credit for this call to get the Packers into field goal range in overtime.
There are very few things as unexpected as a screen pass to Marcedes Lewis in sudden death OT. pic.twitter.com/HkKcOwqQoF
— Daire Carragher (@DaireCarragher) October 11, 2021
As fun as these plays are to watch, they are not the only ways in which Lewis has helped the Green Bay Packers. Lewis has taken Robert Tonyan under his wing to teach him the intricacies of being a Y-tight end:
Absolutely fascinating to watch Marcedes Lewis go over blocking teaching points with Robert Tonyan. Could watch this all day. pic.twitter.com/K4dekuRXW8
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) July 31, 2021
How Long Will Marcedes Lewis Keep Playing?
Marcedes Lewis is under contract for this season with the Green Bay Packers, ensuring that he will at least tie the record for most seasons played by a tight end. He does, however, want to break the record by playing 18 seasons. Lewis said, “This year, I’ll tie the record. It would be great to break it and then I would consider, ‘OK, I’ve done that.’ Eighteen is kind of bizarre, especially at the tight end position.”
Of course, there is one thing that Lewis wants more than the record: a Super Bowl ring. Hopefully the Green Bay Packers can get him that ring this season. One has to assume that Green Bay will be ready, willing, and able to bring him back in 2023 if he desires to come back. He would be a low-cost free agent and, as seen above, is a great mentor to younger players.