Philly Voice’s Jimmy Kempski has released his annual calculation of the average roster age in the NFL. I highly recommend you check it out.
The Patriots rank 15th this year, after ranking 13th in 2015, 11th in 2013 and 2014, and 9th in 2012. The average age of the roster has increased from 25.81 years to 26.07 years. This isn’t that big of a difference, as it basically just accounts for an increase in 13.78 team years- or just the natural aging process of Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Dont’a Hightower, and Devin McCourty from 2012 to 2016.
The difference between 10th and 20th is an average of 0.34, or 18.02 team years. Again, not a big deal.
It’s the top and bottom of the age rankings that really catch the eye as the Rams and Browns are a full year younger than the Patriots, on average, while the Falcons are a full year older. The Rams have actually been the youngest team in every year of the study, which is interesting in and of itself.
Based on the rankings, even if they don’t mean too much in small differences, the Patriots have a younger roster than the Dolphins (20th), Jets (21st), and Bills (22nd), which is a good sign for the sustained dominance by the Patriots.
The Patriots are also younger than the Bengals (23rd), Steelers (24th), and Ravens (27th), as well as the Texans (19th) and the Colts (29th), so the Patriots have remained ahead of the competition in the conference.
The entire AFC West is more youthful than the Patriots, with the Broncos (5th), Chiefs (6th), Chargers (9th), and Raiders (13th) all in younger half of the league.
The core of the Patriots defense is entering its prime, with Jabaal Sheard, Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Devin McCourty, and Patrick Chung playing as well as they ever have in their careers. The offense is a little bit older, with Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, and Danny Amendola on the wrong side of 30, but the addition of Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell should provide a nice future at the position.
In other words, New England’s Super Bowl window is wide open so long as Tom Brady is able to throw a football- and the rest of the AFC East will just have to watch.