Even though their head coach and quarterback are among the oldest of their respective peers, the New England Patriots are generally considered a relatively young football team. This perception most likely derives from the title of "youngest Super Bowl champion ever".
This moniker is a little misleading, though. While the overall 53-man roster on Super Bowl Sunday was 25.2 years old, the team was older than that if we analyze it by average age per snap: the Patriots' age rises to 27.3.
Still, New England fields a young team, and with the offseason around us, it is now the time to dig a little deeper to find out how young the Patriots really are.
1) On average, New England's current 88-man roster is 25.4 years old.
Last year around this time, the team was a little bit younger: on average, it was 25.3 years old in June 2014.
2) The oldest position group on the roster are the quarterbacks.
The average age of the group is 30: Tom Brady – the oldest player on the Patriots' roster – is 37, while his backups Jimmy Garoppolo and Matt Flynn are 23 and 30, respectively.
3) The youngest position group on the roster are the safeties.
On average, Devin McCourty and company are 24.7 years old, with McCourty and Patrick Chung (both 27) being the oldest among the group.
4) The offensive and defensive lines are also pretty young.
Both groups are, on average, 24.9 years old. This comes as no surprise, as the team has invested considerable draft capital in the trenches the last few years. Four of the Patriots' last five first round picks were spent on linemen.
5) Overall, the other position groups (from youngest to oldest) look as follows:
Linebackers: avg. 25.2
Running backs: avg. 25.3
Tight ends: avg. 25.5
Cornerbacks: avg. 25.6
Wide receivers: avg. 26.0
Specialists: avg. 26.3
6) Only six of 88 players are over 30.
The above mentioned Brady and Flynn as well as offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer (30), defensive linemen Alan Branch (30) and Rob Ninkovich (31), and kicker Stephen Gostkowski (31) are over 30 years old.
Seven more players are knocking on this door, as they are 29 years old: wide receivers Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater, tight end Scott Chandler, offensive lineman Ryan Wendell, linebacker Jerod Mayo, and cornerback Bradley Fletcher.
7) Tom Brady is, by far, the oldest player on the roster.
The veteran quarterback, who turns 38 in August, is six and a half years older than the Patriots' next oldest player, Stephen Gostkowski. Unless the team adds a player older than Brady prior to the start of the regular season (highly unlikely), 2015 will mark the fourth consecutive year that the quarterback is the oldest player on his team's roster.
The last time Brady wasn't the elder statesman came in 2011, when the team had Brian Waters, Shaun Ellis and Kevin Faulk on the roster, who were all older than Brady.