Long-term health consequences in former National Football League (NFL) players are of great concern. This study examined longitudinal trends of longevity in NFL players as compared with those in the general population. We analyzed data of former NFL players who were deceased between 1950 and 2018 and whose age at the time of death was known (N = 6,540). Life expectancy of the U.S. males based on birth year was used to compare longevity between NFL players and the general population. Lowess smoothing showed that longevity of NFL players had increased from 1950 (48.1 ± 9.6 years) to 2018 (73.8 ± 1.5 years), with a steady increase from 1950 to 1980, followed by a more moderate increase and then reaching a plateau during the 2000s. Former NFL players had significantly greater longevity than did the male general population throughout the years (t = 63.79, p < 0.001), with 14.3 ± 18.2 years greater longevity, on average. Longer NFL careers had small- to medium-sized, negative correlations with longevity. The findings indicate that NFL players have greater longevity than does the general population, potentially due to their vigorous exercise training and high physical fitness levels.