Twice a season, I will look at the NFL teams average age, and their offenses and defenses. This tells us where the Detroit Lions are at compared to the rest of the NFL.
The last time I looked at all the rosters in the NFL was heading into the 2012 season. The Detroit Lions had an average team age of 27.24 years and were the second oldest team in the NFL heading into last season. They also had the oldest offense and the 17th oldest defense. Since the end of the season, teams will add players to what was a 53 man roster, so most of these numbers might seem a little low. The Lions, for instance, added several players with future reserve contracts. Most teams will do this, and these are younger players that will lower average ages a bit across the board, affecting all teams equally.
Heading into free agency, it’s impossible to exclude practice squad players, as the league year also begins on March 12th, and no teams have formed practice squads. When I next do these ages, I will exclude practice squad players, because they are all about the same age group and the overall impact is a wash.
Injured reserve players will also get excluded before the start of the season, as they have no impact on a teams roster with the possible exception of one player a team may bring back from injured reserve per team under the new rules.
The only way to look at any team and their average age is if it can be compared to the rest of the NFL for proper context. Yes, this is a Lions site, but all the averages must be done if we want to see how they stack up against the rest of the league. I’ll also do the averages for the offense and defense.
In my new table format, the teams are ranked with 1 being the oldest team and 32 being the youngest. The tables are also searchable, so typing in ‘N‘ will show all the teams that start with that letter. Typing in Min shows the Vikings, etc. This search will narrow down what you are looking for while you are typing. All tables are also sortable.
Now, for some odds and ends, at the time I gathered this roster information, all the players combined in the NFL were 61,964 years old. Since I counted 2,373 players on all the rosters combined, that means the average NFL player is 26.11 years old. Going into the 2012 season, the average player was 26.21 years old. Since rosters will drop to 53 players before the start of the season, that means some younger guys will become practice squad players. I expect the average age to go back up a little.
Where is your team at? Click the column headers to sort by that column or use the search box to rapidly locate them.
Average age of NFL teams
|1||San Diego Chargers||26.86 Yrs|
|2||Detroit Lions||26.82 Yrs|
|3||Arizona Cardinals||26.67 Yrs|
|4||Atlanta Falcons||26.66 Yrs|
|5||San Francisco 49ers||26.64 Yrs|
|6||Chicago Bears||26.57 Yrs|
|7||Dever Broncos||26.47 Yrs|
|8||Baltimore Ravens||26.39 Yrs|
|9||Pittsburgh Steelers||26.39 Yrs|
|10||Houston Texans||26.33 Yrs|
|11||Oakland Raiders||26.28 Yrs|
|12||Washington Redskins||26.21 Yrs|
|13||Jacksonville Jaguars||26.18 Yrs|
|14||Tennessee Titans||26.18 Yrs|
|15||New England Patriots||26.15 Yrs|
|16||Kansas City Chiefs||26.12 Yrs|
|17||Buffalo Bills||26.11 Yrs|
|18||Dallas Cowboys||26.05 Yrs|
|19||New York Giants||26.05 Yrs|
|20||New York Jets||26.04 Yrs|
|21||New Orleans Saints||26.03 Yrs|
|22||Carolina Panthers||26 Yrs|
|23||Philadelphia Eagles||25.93 Yrs|
|24||Seattle Seahawks||25.81 Yrs|
|25||Cincinnati Bengals||25.77 Yrs|
|26||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||25.68 Yrs|
|27||Miami Dolphins||25.62 Yrs|
|28||Cleveland Browns||25.58 Yrs|
|29||Minnesota Vikings||25.56 Yrs|
|30||Indianapolis Colts||25.53 Yrs|
|31||Green Bay Packers||25.53 Yrs|
|32||St. Louis Rams||25.4 Yrs|
|Rank||Team||Average Offense Age|
|1||Detroit Lions||27.61 Yrs|
|2||Chicago Bears||27 Yrs|
|3||San Diego Chargers||26.93 Yrs|
|4||San Francisco 49ers||26.83 Yrs|
|5||New York Giants||26.67 Yrs|
|6||Tennessee Titans||26.64 Yrs|
|7||Houston Texans||26.59 Yrs|
|8||Dever Broncos||26.56 Yrs|
|9||Arizona Cardinals||26.5 Yrs|
|10||Atlanta Falcons||26.49 Yrs|
|11||New England Patriots||26.38 Yrs|
|12||Buffalo Bills||26.27 Yrs|
|13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||26.25 Yrs|
|14||Pittsburgh Steelers||26.24 Yrs|
|15||New Orleans Saints||26.24 Yrs|
|16||Oakland Raiders||26.18 Yrs|
|17||Jacksonville Jaguars||26.11 Yrs|
|18||Seattle Seahawks||26.11 Yrs|
|19||Baltimore Ravens||26.1 Yrs|
|20||Philadelphia Eagles||26.07 Yrs|
|21||Kansas City Chiefs||26.02 Yrs|
|22||Carolina Panthers||26 Yrs|
|23||Dallas Cowboys||25.98 Yrs|
|24||Washington Redskins||25.97 Yrs|
|25||Cleveland Browns||25.85 Yrs|
|26||New York Jets||25.78 Yrs|
|27||Cincinnati Bengals||25.69 Yrs|
|28||Green Bay Packers||25.61 Yrs|
|29||Miami Dolphins||25.39 Yrs|
|30||Minnesota Vikings||25.39 Yrs|
|31||Indianapolis Colts||25.34 Yrs|
|32||St. Louis Rams||25.34 Yrs|
Average age of NFL Defenses
|Rank||Team||Average Defense Age|
|1||Arizona Cardinals||26.9 Yrs|
|2||Atlanta Falcons||26.9 Yrs|
|3||San Diego Chargers||26.77 Yrs|
|4||Baltimore Ravens||26.69 Yrs|
|5||Pittsburgh Steelers||26.54 Yrs|
|6||Washington Redskins||26.46 Yrs|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||26.42 Yrs|
|8||Oakland Raiders||26.38 Yrs|
|9||Dever Broncos||26.36 Yrs|
|10||New York Jets||26.29 Yrs|
|11||Jacksonville Jaguars||26.28 Yrs|
|12||Kansas City Chiefs||26.26 Yrs|
|13||Dallas Cowboys||26.12 Yrs|
|14||Houston Texans||26.09 Yrs|
|15||Chicago Bears||26.08 Yrs|
|16||Carolina Panthers||26 Yrs|
|17||Detroit Lions||25.97 Yrs|
|18||Buffalo Bills||25.91 Yrs|
|19||Miami Dolphins||25.9 Yrs|
|20||New England Patriots||25.89 Yrs|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals||25.84 Yrs|
|22||New Orleans Saints||25.8 Yrs|
|23||New York Giants||25.78 Yrs|
|24||Philadelphia Eagles||25.76 Yrs|
|25||Minnesota Vikings||25.75 Yrs|
|26||Indianapolis Colts||25.73 Yrs|
|27||Tennessee Titans||25.66 Yrs|
|28||Seattle Seahawks||25.5 Yrs|
|29||St. Louis Rams||25.48 Yrs|
|30||Green Bay Packers||25.44 Yrs|
|31||Cleveland Browns||25.28 Yrs|
|32||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||25.05 Yrs|
Well, the Lions are still the second oldest team overall in the NFL at 26.82 years, behind only the San Diego Chargers. The Lions also once again have the oldest overall offense at 27.61 years and the 17th overall oldest defense.
Things will change, and depending on whether Lions kicker Jason Hanson and left tackle Jeff Backus retire, the Lions average age could drop both overall and on offense. These numbers are going to change.
Right now, if both Jeff Backus and Jason Hanson return for the 2013 season, I would not recommend the Lions go after a veteran free agent, unless that free agent is younger and can help the team. Both those things also mean a higher price tag, so I don’t see the Lions going after any young studs in free agency.
I’m also thinking these numbers seem to indicate that the best way to find a replacement for Jahvid Best would be through the draft, with a younger player and speed, not often mentioned Reggie Bush. Sure, at 27 years old, Bush seems young. Now going into his seventh season as an NFL running back, how much could Bush bring to the Lions and at what cost?
Since I am also calculating the ages of the offense and defense, don’t tell me that a player like 42 year old Jason Hanson shouldn’t be included in the Detroit Lions offense. I think even the average Lions fan can tell you that Hanson is the Lions all time leading scorer, with over 2,000 points. I think that tells me he must be included in the offense, along with the long snapper snapping the ball on field goal attempts.
I also feel the Punter must be included in the offense, it’s all about field position. The ideal situation is to pin the opponent inside the five on punts, and the desired result would be a safety or excellent field position because of a defensive stop that leads to points.