- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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The NFC West buffet includes a wide variety of items.
The 26-column rosters, freshly updated and made available for download, aren't for everyone. If your stomach churns at the thought of an Excel spreadsheet, these aren't for you. But if you enjoy having lots of information available for your own purposes, these can be of pretty fair nutritional value.
A few age-related updates I've culled while comparing rosters across the NFL:
The Arizona Cardinals have the oldest roster in the league by average age, right ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coach Ken Whisenhunt has sought to pattern the Cardinals after the Steelers, but age is working against both teams on defense in particular. Two former Steelers, Joey Porter and Clark Haggans, remain the best outside pass-rushers on the Cardinals' defense despite their advancing age.
The Cardinals are older than most teams on the offensive line because they prefer veteran backups. They have the third-oldest offensive linemen in the league top to bottom; the Seattle Seahawks have the youngest. The San Francisco 49ers have the third-youngest.
The St. Louis Rams are the fifth-oldest team overall and third-oldest when we exclude specialists. The Cardinals become the fifth-oldest team by this measure. I exclude specialists from most team age calculations because those players can often produce well into their 30s, unlike players at other positions. If you've got older players at kicker, punter and long-snapper, that doesn't mean you're an old team to the same degree as a team with young specialists and older position players.
If you're going to be really bad, you might as well be really young at the same time. The Rams are old and bad right now, a potentially troubling development. But many of their older players are signed to one-year deals that give the Rams flexibility after the season. However, they lack sufficient young prospects at some positions, including linebacker and running back.
The Seattle Seahawks are second-youngest with specialists and third-youngest without them. The 49ers are among the 10 youngest by either measure.
The Seahawks now have the youngest starters in the league. Starters for the Rams are fifth-oldest. Starters for the Cardinals and 49ers are nearer the middle of the pack.
What does it all mean? The Rams and Cardinals have spent big on quarterbacks and surrounded them with quite a few veteran players. The Seahawks and 49ers have gone younger, and both could be in position for long-term growth if they can solve their quarterback situations for the future.
The NFC West buffet includes a wide variety of items.The 26-column rosters, freshly updated and made available for download, aren't for everyone. If your stomach churns at the thought of an Excel spreadsheet, these aren't for you.