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Thursday, June 2, 2011
Land of the graybeard QBs

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

John Clayton's got a column up about the league-wide youth movement at the quarterback position. John says there could be as many as 13 starting quarterbacks age 26 or younger in the league this year. He says the average age of starting QBs in 2009 and 2010 was 28.3, down from 29.1 in 2008, and that the additions of Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton, Jake Locker and Tim Tebow to the pool could drop it into the low 27s.

So this got me thinking, which is good, because as you know it's important to think for at least 45 minutes every day. The NFC East ... doesn't have any quarterbacks like that.

Tony Romo is 31. Eli Manning is 30. Michael Vick will be 31 when the season starts. And the Redskins right now are going with either John Beck (30 by the time the season starts) or Rex Grossman (31). So the average age of starting QBs in our division is either 30.5 if Beck starts in Washington or 30.75 if it's Grossman.

"What's it all mean, Dan?????"

Well, I don't know. Could mean there's some level of stability at quarterback in the NFC East. The Cowboys and Giants have obviously felt for some time as if they had their answer. The Eagles had enough depth at the spot that they were able to trade Donovan McNabb a year ago and still find two quality starters in Vick in Kevin Kolb. And the Redskins, while they clearly don't have their QB question answered for the short or long term, haven't yet found their Matt Ryan or Sam Bradford yet.

When you're 30 or 31 and a quarterback in today's NFL, you're basically a grizzled veteran, whether you've already won a Super Bowl like Manning or are still waiting to break through like Beck. So there may be a youth movement at QB in the NFL, but it hasn't made its way over to the NFC East yet.