Who Is the Oldest NFL Team? The 10 Oldest Teams in the NFL

The NFL is a prestigious sports league. It is true to say that it is a worldwide famous league. If you are an NFL fan, this article will be helpful to you. In this article, Scott Fujita will help you find the answer to “who is the oldest NFL team?”

Top 10 Original Football Teams – Who is the oldest NFL team?

Here is the list of 10 Oldest Teams in the NFL:

  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Chicago Bears
  • Green Bay Packers
  • New York Giants
  • Detroit Lions
  • Washington Redskins
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Cleveland Browns

In the mid-19th century, football became popular in the United States. It led to the creation of the American Professional Football Association (APFA) in 1920. APFA starts with ten teams. During the 1922 season, APFA changed its name to NFL. 

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Currently, only two teams are still active. They are the Chicago Cardinals (now the Arizona Cardinals) and the Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears).

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The NFL was founded in 1920. Currently, there are 32 teams in the NFL

1. Arizona Cardinals

  • Year of establishment: 1898
  • Year of joining the NFL: 1920
  • Name(s): Chicago Cardinals, Card-Pitt, Phoenix Cardinals, St. Louis Cardinals,  and Arizona Cardinals.

The Chicago Cardinals is the oldest team in the NFL. They are part of the inaugural NFL roster. 

The team is also the most senior, surviving professional football team in the United States. Since joining the NFL in 1920, this team has been present in 3 different cities, including Chicago, St. Louis, and Phoenix.

Their current colors are cardinal red, white and black. Their current owner is Bill Bidwill.

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The Chicago Cardinals is the oldest team in the NFL

2. Chicago Bears

  • Year of establishment: September 17, 1920
  • Year of joining the NFL: 1920
  • Name(s):  Decatur Staleys (1920), Chicago Staleys (1921), and Chicago Bears (1922 – Now)

Like the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears is the oldest team in the NFL.

The Chicago Bears team started in 1920. Like the Arizona Cardinals, the Chicago Bears are teams that have been around since they entered the NFL’s first year.

This team started as the Staleys when they were in Decatur, Illinois. They moved to Chicago the following year. In 1922, this team changed its name to the Chicago Bears. Since then, the Chicago Bears have never changed their name or moved cities.

There’s no denying that the Chicago Bears have been one of the most popular and successful teams in the NFL. The Staley Starch Company was the first sponsor of the Bears. After that, they decided to give this team to coach George Halas. 

This company also allowed George  George Halas to move the Bears to Chicago. However, George Halas had to keep the Staleys name for another year.

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  The Decatur Staleys (now is the Chicago Bears) is the oldest team in the NFL

3. Green Bay Packers

  • Year of establishment: August 11, 1919
  • First-year in the NFL: 1921
  • Name(s): Green Bay Packers (1919 – present)

The Green Bay Packers is one of the NFL original teams.

The sponsor of the Green Bay Packers was the Indian Packing Company. Earl Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun are the founders of the Green Bay Packers.

The Green Bay Packers entered the NFL in its second year. The Green Bay Packers have never moved or changed their name. This team has won 11 NFL championships.

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Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun are the founders of the Green Bay Packers

4. New York Giants

  • Year of establishment: August 1, 1925
  • First-year in the NFL: 1925
  • Name(s): New York Giants (1925 – Now)

The New York Giants have never changed its name or moved to the city. Tim Mara founded Giants in 1925 with an investment of $500.

In the early days, the New York Giants were able to become famous. Proof that more than 70,000 people came to watch the New York Giants play in the first season. The New York Giants were quick to show the world that they were a strong team. This team won their first NFL championship in 1927. It was their third season.

Today, members of the Mara family and the Tisch family own the New York Giants.

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The New York Giants have never changed its name or moved to the city

5. Detroit Lions

  • Year of establishment: 1929
  • First-year in the NFL: 1930
  • Name(s): Portsmouth Spartans (1930 – 1933), Detroit Lions (1934 – Now)

The Detroit Lions formed as the Portsmouth Spartans in 1929. A year later, they joined the NFL. A year later, Sparta entered a championship match against the Chicago Bears. It was one of the most important games in their history.

The Detroit Lions had a great season in 1950. After that, they also put in a lot of effort. However, they never won the Super Bowl. The last time they won the championship was in 1957.

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The Detroit Lions never won the Super Bowl

6. Washington Redskins

  • Year of establishment: July 9, 1932 
  • First-year in the NFL: 1932
  • Name(s): Boston Braves, Boston Redskins, Washington Redskins (Now)

Originally, Marshall named the team after Braves Field, the field they used. In 1933, the Boston Braves moved to Fenway Park and changed their name to the Redskins.

George Preston Marshall was unhappy with the lack of support from Boston fans for his team. As a result, they moved to Washington, DC, in 1937. Since then, they have not moved again.

The Washington Redskins have won several Super Bowl and NFL championships. This team hasn’t won a major title since the early 1990s.

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The Washington Redskins have won several Super Bowl and NFL championships

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Year of establishment: July 8, 1933 
  • First-year in the NFL: 1933
  • Name(s): Pittsburgh Pirates (1933 – 1939), Phil-Pitt Steagles (1943), Card-Pitt (1944), and Pittsburgh Steelers (1940 – Now)

Arthur J. Rooney founded the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1933. Currently, the Rooney family still owns this team. This team is always in Pittsburgh. Initially, the name of this team was the Pittsburgh Pirates.

For the first 40 years after its founding, the Pittsburgh Steelers had no outstanding track record. They never even won a championship of any kind in that period. In the 1970s, however, this team had one of the most significant victories in NFL history.

After that, they have consistently had outstanding achievements:

  • Eight consecutive playoff berths
  • Seven AFC Central titles 
  • Four AFC championships
  • The first NFL team to win Super Bowls  four-time

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For the first 40 years after its founding, the Pittsburgh Steelers had no outstanding track record

8. Philadelphia Eagles

  • Year of establishment: July 8, 1933 
  • First-year in the NFL: 1933
  • Name(s): Philadelphia Eagles (1933 – Now), Phil-Pitt Steagles (1943)

The Philadelphia Eagles began competing in 1933. The team competed in the Super Bowl three times. 

They lost the first two and won the third in 2018. For the first ten years, the Philadelphia Eagles were a solid team. 

In 1981, the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Oakland Raiders in their first Super Bowl. They had success in the mid-1940s. They won their first Super Bowl in 2017. 

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 The Philadelphia Eagle won their first Super Bowl in 2017

9. Los Angeles Rams

  • Year of establishment: 1936
  • First-year in the NFL: 1937
  • Name(s): Cleveland Rams (1936 -1945), Los Angeles Rams (1946 – 1994), (2016 – nay), St. Louis Rams (1995 – 2015)

The Los Angeles Rams have moved to Los Angeles after spending 20 years in St. Louis. However, the Rams brand was born in Cleveland in 1936. The Los Angeles Rams joined the NFL the following year.

For the first six years, the Los Angeles Rams were a terrible team. They had to suspend operations in the 1943 season due to the Second World War.

The Los Angeles Rams played their last championship game in Cleveland in 1945. They then moved to Los Angeles for the next season.

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For the first six years, the Los Angeles Rams were a terrible team

10. Cleveland Browns

  • Year of establishment: June 4, 1944 
  • First-year in the NFL: 1950
  • Name(s): Cleveland Browns

Arthur B. McBride, a local businessman, founded the Cleveland Browns in 1944. Soon after, he hired Paul Brown as the team’s coach and general manager.

This team once dominated the AAFC until it ceased operations in 1949. The following year, the Cleveland Browns joined the NFL. They continue to dominate the NFL. The proof is that they won the NFL Eastern Conference championship six years in a row (from 1950 to 1955). In addition, they won three NFL titles in 1950, 1954, and 1955.

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The Cleveland Browns once dominated the AAFC until it ceased operations in 1949

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When was the American Professional Football Association (APFA) founded?

The first year of the American Professional Football Association (APFA) was 1920.

2. How many teams are currently participating in the National Football League (NFL)?

Nowadays, 32 teams are participating in the National Football League.

3. How long is the National Football League?

The NFL usually takes place from the first Thursday of September and ends the first Sunday of February.

4. The APFA and the NFL are the same, right?

Yes, they are the same.

5. Of the ten oldest teams in the National Football League, which team do they still join the NFL now?

They are the Chicago Cardinals (the Arizona Cardinals) and the Decatur Staleys (the Chicago Bears).

Conclusion

Throughout its years of development, the National Football League has had its ups and downs. Overall it has become the top professional football league in the world. 

The Decatur Staleys and the Chicago Cardinals are the oldest teams in the National Football League. There are also two teams still participating in the National Football League today.

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