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May 26, 2019

A look at the Eagles' players over 30, and their succession plan for each

Eagles NFL

The Philadelphia Eagles currently have nine players who are 30 years of age, or older. They are Jason Peters (37), DeSean Jackson (32), Jason Kelce (31), Malcolm Jenkins (31), Brandon Graham (31), Andrew Sendejo (31), Vinny Curry (30), Stefen Wisniewski (30), and Charles Johnson (30).

The Eagles are tied for the ninth-most players over 30 in the NFL. The league average is 7.6. 

Team Players over 30 Team Players over 30
Patriots 15 Bears 6
Falcons 14 Lions 6
Bills 13 Texans 6
Panthers 12 Colts 6
Washington 12 Rams 6
Cardinals 11 Vikings 6
Saints 11 Raiders 6
Giants 11 Steelers 6
Ravens 9 Seahawks 6
Eagles 9 Jets 5
Broncos 8 Cowboys 4
Chargers 8 Chiefs 4
Bengals 7 Dolphins 4
Packers 7 Buccaneers 4
49ers 7 Browns 3
Titans 7 Jaguars 3

"Old" doesn't mean bad, of course. In fact, the oldest players on teams are often the best players, seeing as, well, they've been able to stick in the league long enough to become among the oldest. In the Eagles' case, it's a mix of great players and low-cost free agents signed off the street.

When a large number of players begin to accelerate in age without a succession plan in place, that's when good teams become "rebuilding" teams. Presently, the Eagles aren't in much danger of that occurring, but they do have a need for more youth at various positional groups. Here we'll take a look at the Eagles' 30-year-olds, and the succession plan in place for each:

Jason Peters (37): The Eagles drafted Andre Dillard in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. They hope he can be the starting left tackle for the next decade-plus, beginning in 2020.

DeSean Jackson (32): It seems like every year, those of us who follow draft prospects pick out speed receivers who make sense for the Eagles, given their recent lack of productive deep threat who can take the top off a defense. And then every year they sign a low-cost veteran for that role. This offseason, the Eagles landed the deep threat of deep threats in Jackson, but they should still continue to keep their eye out for successors to Jackson in the draft.

Jason Kelce (31): The Eagles don't have a young center apprenticing behind Kelce, unless you consider Isaac Seumalo as that. Then again, neither do most teams.

Malcolm Jenkins (31): Jenkins is skipping offseason workouts for the first time since he's been an Eagle, almost certainly because he wants a new contract. Avonte Maddox showed that he is capable of playing something similar to the Jenkins role in the Eagles' defense, but his best position is probably at slot corner. The Eagles still need to find a successor here.

Brandon Graham (31): The Eagles selected edge rushers in the fourth round in each of the last two drafts, Josh Sweat (2018) and Shareef Miller (2019). Sweat mostly plays RDE (and didn't show much in 2018), while Miller mostly played LDE at Penn State. He'd be more of a successor for Graham, who just signed a new three-year, $40 million deal, and isn't going anywhere for at least two seasons. Regardless, defensive end is a position where the Eagles will always look to add talent. 

Andrew Sendejo (31): One-year rental, if he makes the team.

Vinny Curry (30): Year-to-year rental, and sort of "guy they know" depth player for 2019. As noted above, the Eagles will always look to add defensive ends.

Stefen Wisniewski (30): Again, a year-to-year rental who can fill in at all three interior O-line spots.

Charles Johnson (30): Johnson holds the record for the most receiving yards in a game in AAF history. He'll hold that record until the end of time, but he's a long shot to make the roster.

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