Initial 53-man rosters for NFL teams were decided yesterday, and while there are still plenty of moves to be made, Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com compiled the average age of each team and ranked them. It's always an interesting ranking, and the Colts are actually the fourth oldest team in the NFL with an average age of 26.66 years.
The only teams with an average age older than the Colts are the Bears (30th), Giants (31st), and Raiders (32nd). The youngest team in the league is the St. Louis Rams, with an average age of 25.09 years old.
To many, the Colts ranking might come as a surprise. After all, they have some very key young players - starting with quarterback Andrew Luck, who is only 24. Other key contributors (especially on offense) are young as well. But the Colts also have seven players over 30 years old: linebacker D'Qwell Jackson (30), offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus (30), defensive lineman Cory Redding (33), safety Mike Adams (33), wide receiver Reggie Wayne (35), quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (38), and kicker Adam Vinatieri (41). So in other words, four defensive starters, one offensive starter, and a key special teams player are all over 30. Also, the Colts have 6 players who are 29 and 5 players who are 28.
I wouldn't get too concerned about the Colts being one of the oldest teams in the NFL. Some of their key players are young, especially the most important player. But at the same time, it does heighten some of the pressure for Ryan Grigson to hit on good defensive players in the draft, as it's largely on the defensive side of the ball that the Colts are old. They need to begin developing younger players on that defense. Some guys - like Josh Chapman, Bjoern Werner, Josh McNary - could hopefully keep developing, but the overall reality is that the Colts defense especially has some older players.
I looked at the numbers of the average age of the starting offense (base two tight end) and the starting defense (base 3-4). The average age of the offensive starters is 25.45 - which, when looking at Kempski's numbers would rank as the fifth youngest "team" in the league. The Colts starting defense, however, has an average age of 28.55 years - which is 1.55 years older on average than the oldest "team" in the league. And that's not even including Robert Mathis - if Mathis was included in the starting defense (he would be the team's eighth player over 30 years old if he counted toward the roster now), the average age of the defensive starters is 29.36 years old. Keep in mind that the oldest team in the league has an average age of 27. In other words - this defense is much older than you'd expect or like to think.
What does it mean? It means that there's nothing to worry about with the offense - they're very young. But it's a good reminder that the Colts need to begin finding and developing young talent, and quickly, on the defensive side of the ball, as the unit is pretty old, relatively speaking. As a team overall, the Colts are the fourth oldest team in the NFL. That might surprise some people, but it makes sense once you look at it. And it's not a huge thing to be concerned about (right now...), just interesting.