Friday, May 10, 2013
Listen up, kids: Respect thy West elders
By Mike Sando
The rookie wage scale and overall salary structure should increasingly make the NFL a young man's game, all else equal.
Youth will be served during rookie minicamps beginning Friday, for sure.
With that in mind, I've gone through NFC West rosters singling out for special recognition players age 30 and older (or turning 30 before regular-season openers). There are 29 such players in the division by my count, including longtime NFC West stars Frank Gore (turns 30 next week) and Larry Fitzgerald (turns 30 in August). Twenty of them play for the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.
A team-by-team look at NFC West elders, with ages rounded to the tenth of a year:
- Arizona Cardinals: Jay Feely (36.9), Mike Leach (36.5), Yeremiah Bell (35.1), Dave Zastudil (34.5), Carson Palmer (33.3), Darnell Dockett (31.9), Daryn Colledge (31.2), Jeff King (30.2), Lorenzo Alexander (29.9), Larry Fitzgerald (29.6).
- San Francisco 49ers: Phil Dawson (38.2), Brian Jennings (36.5), Jonathan Goodwin (34.4), Justin Smith (33.6), Anquan Boldin (32.5), Carlos Rogers (31.8), Nnamdi Asomugha (31.8), Adam Snyder (31.2), Andy Lee (30.7), Frank Gore (29.9).
- Seattle Seahawks: Antoine Winfield (35.8), Chris Clemons (31.5), Jon Ryan (31.4), Heath Farwell (31.3), Michael Robinson (30.2), Paul McQuistan (30).
- St. Louis Rams: Scott Wells (32.3), Harvey Dahl (31.8), Kellen Clemens (29.9).
The chart provides a team and positional look at these players. I'm expecting the Rams to have the youngest roster in the NFL this season.
Update: Add Karlos Dansby to the list for the Cardinals. The 31-year-old linebacker has agreed to terms with Arizona, the team announced.