Breaking down Pats roster by age

February, 6, 2013
2/06/13
10:00
AM ET
In Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the Patriots have the longest-tenured starting quarterback and head coach in the NFL.

The pair also ranks near the top of their respective positions in terms of age, as Brady is 35 and Belichick 60.

But while the team’s leader on the sideline and field are veteran in comparison to their NFL brethren, the Patriots' roster is balanced with a core of young talent.

In fact, of the 58 players the Patriots have under contract through at least the 2013 season, 38 are 25 years or younger.

Below is a breakdown of the Patriots roster by current age.

PATRIOTS ROSTER BY CURRENT AGE (AS OF 2/6/2013)

ANALYSIS: There are two ways to view the Patriots' roster as it relates to age: On one hand, the team has managed to turn over virtually the entire roster and sustain success since its first Super Bowl win back in 2001 (only Brady remains from that team). In addition, the team is chock full of critical roster cogs who are 25 or younger, a positive sign for the future. With players such as Gronkowski, Ridley, Hernandez and Solder on offense and McCourty, Jones, Hightower and Spikes on defense, the Patriots' young core is in place to build around. The other side of the coin would be that the Patriots are thin on veteran experience, which has proved pivotal for recent Super Bowl champions. Our take as it relates to experience is that it does matter and can be helpful in critical moments of the season, while the age of a player only matters relative to performance. While Brady being 35 would suggest he’s on the downswing of his career, he still performs at an elite level. We’d argue that no Patriot under contract for 2013 showed a significant physical drop-off during the 2012 season.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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