Ranking NFL teams by age after 53-man cutdowns: 2019 edition

The Patriots are old, but obviously still very good.
Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports

As of roughly 8:45 p.m. on cut-down day, when we finished collecting data from all 32 NFL team website rosters, the Miami Dolphins had the youngest team in the NFL. 

The Dolphins, of course, made a blockbuster trade today in which they acquired a pair of first-round picks, as well as a second-round pick from the Houston Texans for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills. Before that trade, the Dolphins already had 11 draft picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, according to this, as well as a pair of projected compensatory picks. They could be the youngest team in the league for a few years.

Previously, the youngest teams in the NFL were as follows:

• 2018: Cincinnati Bengals

• 2017: Cleveland Browns

• Every year from 2012-2016: St. Louis / Los Angeles Rams

The New England Patriots have the oldest roster this year.

By the time you read this, this data will already out of date as teams continue to make tweaks to their rosters, although even with continued roster movement, the average ages of each team shouldn’t change much. Here are the results, with a recent historic look at the average ages of each team on 53-man cut down day:

 Team2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 
Dolphins 25.2 (1) 26.5 (26) 26.6 (29) 26.2 (20) 25.6 (4)
Bucs 25.4 (2) 26.1 (22) 26.2 (21) 25.7 (8) 25.9 (11)
Browns 25.4 (3) 25.3 (2) 24.2 (1) 25.1 (2) 26.1 (16)
Seahawks 25.5 (4) 25.7 (9) 25.8 (13) 25.6 (7) 25.9 (12)
Packers 25.5 (5) 25.7 (10) 25.7 (11) 25.4 (3) 25.5 (3)
Vikings 25.5 (6) 25.5 (6) 26.1 (20) 26.6 (31) 25.8 (7)
Colts 25.6 (7) 25.6 (8) 25.6 (5) 26.5 (29) 27.2 (32)
Jaguars 25.6 (8) 25.5 (5) 25.6 (7) 25.4 (4) 25.3 (2)
Raiders 25.6 (9) 27.4 (32) 26.1 (19) 26 (13) 26.5 (23)
Rams 25.6 (10) 25.5 (4) 25.1 (2) 25 (1) 24.9 (1)
Broncos 25.7 (11) 26 (17) 26 (16) 25.5 (5) 26.2 (18)
49ers 25.7 (12) 25.8 (15) 25.7 (10) 26.1 (16) 25.8 (8)
Bengals 25.7 (13) 25.2 (1) 25.5 (3) 26.3 (23) 26.3 (20)
Steelers 25.7 (14) 25.9 (16) 26.1 (18) 26.3 (24) 26.6 (26)
Chargers 25.8 (15) 25.8 (14) 25.7 (8) 25.7 (9) 26.3 (21)
Chiefs 25.9 (16) 25.8 (13) 25.9 (14) 25.5 (6) 25.8 (6)
Ravens 25.9 (17) 26 (18) 26.4 (25) 26.4 (27) 26 (15)
Giants 26.0 (18) 26.1 (21) 25.7 (9) 26 (14) 26.5 (25)
Texans 26.0 (19) 25.6 (7) 25.5 (4) 26.2 (19) 25.8 (5)
Washington 26.1 (20) 26.2 (23) 25.9 (15) 26.4 (25) 26.2 (17)
Saints 26.2 (21) 26.3 (24) 26.5 (28) 26.4 (26) 26.7 (29)
Bears 26.2 (22) 25.7 (12) 26.3 (22) 25.9 (10) 26.2 (19)
Lions 26.2 (23) 26.6 (27) 25.8 (12) 26.1 (18) 26.5 (24)
Cowboys 26.3 (24) 25.4 (3) 26.1 (17) 26 (12) 26 (14)
Panthers 26.3 (25) 26.8 (29) 26.8 (31) 26.5 (30) 26.9 (31)
Bills 26.3 (26) 26.7 (28) 26.7 (30) 26.3 (22) 25.9 (10)
Cardinals 26.4 (27) 26.5 (25) 27.3 (32) 26.1 (17) 26.4 (22)
Falcons 26.5 (28) 26.9 (31) 26.4 (24) 27.1 (32) 26.8 (30)
Titans 26.5 (29) 26.1 (20) 26.5 (27) 25.9 (11) 25.8 (9)
Jets 26.5 (30) 26 (19) 25.6 (6) 26.2 (21) 26.6 (27)
Eagles 26.6 (31) 25.7 (11) 26.4 (23) 26.5 (28) 26.7 (28)
Patriots 27.0 (32) 26.8 (30) 26.5 (26) 26.1 (15) 25 (13)

Note: Every year I do this study, I seem to get the same basic comment, which I'll address ahead of time.

"The difference between the Dolphins and Patriots is only 1.8 years. So what?"

While 1.8 years may not be a monumental difference between two individual players, keep in mind that these are the average ages of 53 players per team.

1.8 years on average * 53 players = A difference of about 95.4 total years between the Dolphins and Patriots.

In other words, if you took the 19 oldest Patriots and shaved 5 years off each of their ages, their roster still wouldn't be as young as the Dolphins' roster.

To note, "old" doesn't mean "bad," especially for a team like the Patriots, who are Super Bowl contenders every year. But certainly, you don't want to be old and bad, like some of the teams on the chart above. And obviously, teams that are both young and talented can feel pretty good about their long-term chances of being consistent contenders.


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