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April 06, 2015

Despite 'old guy purge,' Eagles still have a fair share of old guys

Eagles NFL
040615JasonPetersEvanMathis Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP

Jason Peters and Evan Mathis are both 33 years old.

This offseason, the Eagles released four players over the age of 30: OLB Trent Cole (32), OG Todd Herremans (32), TE James Casey (30), and CB Cary Williams (30). Additionally, WR Brad Smith (30) remains an unrestricted free agent. The four players the Eagles released were all primarily salary cap decisions, but certainly their age and career trajectories factored in as well.

Had the Eagles kept the band together, they would have most 30+ year old players in the NFL. As it stands, they are still tied for the seventh most:

Team Players over 30 Team Players over 30 
 Bears14 Raiders 
 Jets12 Seahawks 
 Bengals12 Browns 
 Colts12 Chiefs 
 49ers12 Redskins 
 Steelers11 Vikings 
 Eagles10 Bills 
 Cowboys10 Dolphins 
 Giants10 Patriots 
 Saints10 Broncos 
 Cardinals10 Falcons 

Here's the list of 30+ year old Eagles:

Player Age 
 Jon Dorenbos, LS34 
 Donnie Jones, P34 
 Evan Mathis, OG33 
 Jason Peters, OT33 
 Darren Sproles, RB31 
 Miles Austin, WR30 
 Brandon Bair, DE30 
 Allen Barbre, OG30 
 Brent Celek, TE30 
 DeMeco Ryans, ILB30 

Eagles age notes:

• The Eagles got older in each of Chip Kelly's first two seasons as the Eagles' head coach. Here were their average ages after 53 man cutdowns each of the last three seasons.

Year Eagles average age 
 2012 (Reid's last year)25.55 
 2013 (Chip's first year)25.74 
 2014 (Chip's second year)26.26 

The difference between 2012 (25.55) and 2014 (26.26) is "only" 0.71 years. However, that's a bigger gap than it might seem. While 0.71 years may not be a big difference between two individual players, keep in mind that these are the average ages of 53 players per team.

0.71 years on average * 53 players = A difference of about 37.63 total years between 2012 and 2014.

In other words, if you took 13 Eagles at random and added roughly three years onto each of their lives, that the difference between 2012 and 2014.

To be determined if the Eagles wind up being older in 2015 than they were in 2014 when they make their final cutdowns in September. I project them to be close to what they were in 2014.

• Two of the Eagles on the list above are specialists, which some feel should not be included in overall team age averages. While I disagree with that, there is merit to minimizing long snappers', kickers' and punters' ages. To note, most NFL teams have at least one 30+ year old K/P/LS. Many have two. By my count, there are currently 41 kickers, punters, and long snappers in the NFL over the age of 30. So while the Eagles have two of them, don't get too fixated on that point.

A number of the Eagles' players over the age of 30 are not starters. As noted above, Dorenbos and Jones are specialists, Brandon Bair is a reserve, and Darren Sproles is a role player and punt returner. I have no idea whatsoever what the plan is for Miles Austin, and what the Eagles do with DeMeco Ryans ILB remains a mystery with Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks still on roster.

• There's a notion that the Eagles got older this offseason. That simply isn't true. As noted above, the Eagles subtracted five players over the age of 30 this offseason. They only added one, Miles Austin.

• The Eagles only have two players who are currently 29 years of age. They are Brad Jones and Andrew Gardner, who are both "bottom of the roster" guys. 

• Even after releasing 32 year old Todd Herremans, the Eagles currently have the oldest projected starting offensive line in the NFL. Three projected OL starters are over the age of 30: Jason Peters (33), Evan Mathis (33), and Allen Barbre (30).

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski