Green Bay Packers veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis is chasing an NFL record as he enters his 17th season.
Assuming he's on the roster in Week 1, Lewis will tie the record for most seasons played by a tight end, joining Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten. Lewis would like to continue his career into 2023 to break the record.
"This year, I'll tie the record," Lewis said, via the team's official website. "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."
A first-round pick out of UCLA in 2006, Lewis spent his first 12 seasons in Jacksonville before joining the Packers in 2018. The 38-year-old is the last remaining player still active from the 2006 draft class following the recent retirement of Baltimore Ravens punter Sam Koch.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is fond of the veteran tight end, affectionally referred to as "Big Dog." Lewis' ability to be an inline blocker and pass catcher has kept his career afloat even as he ages. With fewer and fewer TEs entering the NFL with refined blocking skills, the Packers are glad to have a vet like Lewis to play that role and help mold younger tight ends.
"When you're in Year 17, sometimes I wake up like, 'Damn, I'm still doing this,'" Lewis said. "Obviously, a little longer in the tooth, but I love what I do."
Additional fun fact: Lewis is the only first-round pick to whom Rodgers has ever thrown a touchdown pass.