An AFC East roster analysis for the ages

On Monday, with the help of Boston Globe reporter Albert Breer, we took a cursory look at how old the AFC East is skewing for 2010.

Pro-Football-Reference.com writer Chase Stuart gives a more advanced examination of the chronology teams are dealing with on the "The Fifth Down" blog at NYTimes.com.

Stuart's analysis looks at 2009 starters, not the total roster, and is based on a weighted formula that considers the value of the position.

Here are the average ages, with league rating for how young they were in parentheses.

Buffalo Bills

  • Team age: 27.5 (tied 23rd)

  • Offense age: 27.5 (22nd)

  • Defense age: 27.5 (tied 18th)

Miami Dolphins

  • Team age: 26.8 (tied 7th)

  • Offense age: 26.1 (tied 1st)

  • Defense age: 27.7 (23rd)

New England Patriots

  • Team age: 28.7 (32nd)

  • Offense age: 29.7 (32nd)

  • Defense age: 27.5 (tied 18th)

New York Jets

  • Team age: 27.6 (25th)

  • Offense age: 27.7 (24th)

  • Defense age: 27.6 (tied 22nd)

What stands out is that the AFC East was pretty old. Of the dozen categories listed above, only two rated in the youngest third of the league. The Dolphins' offense tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for the greenest, a good sign for the future.

The Patriots had the oldest team by nearly half a year and the oldest offense by nearly a full year.

Their offense should remain the oldest in 2010. It essentially returns intact. Tight end Benjamin Watson is gone and slot receiver Wes Welker might not be ready to return from his knee injury when the season opens, but the Patriots added tight end Alge Crumpler and receiver Torry Holt, who will be 33 and 34, respectively, before the season is over.