The perception of the Buffalo Bills’ roster is it’s still a young, developing team.
The numbers back that outlook up — if one counts the players slated to get the most playing time.
The Bills’ starters on offense and defense rank ninth youngest in the NFL, based on a Buffalo News breakdown of the league’s opening-day lineups. That youth is boosted by the fact the two “cornerstone” players on each side of the ball for the Bills are quarterback Josh Allen, who is 23, and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who is 21.
Edmunds, in fact, still is the second youngest starter in the NFL at 21 years, 4 months. Pittsburgh linebacker Devin Bush, 21 years, 1 month, was the only younger NFL starter over the weekend. Even though a whole new crop of rookies have entered the league, Edmunds still is the seventh youngest player in the NFL.
The average age of Bills starters is 26.0 years. San Francisco has the youngest collective group of starters at 25.1 years. New England has the oldest at 28.6.
Counting the entire 53-man roster, the Bills have the sixth oldest team, at 26.54 years. But there isn’t much difference between the average ages of NFL teams, except for those at the top and the bottom. The average age of the sixth oldest and sixth youngest 53-man rosters is less than a year.
The most noteworthy conclusion from the NFL roster ages is New England is by far the oldest and Miami is by far the youngest.
|NFL's Oldest Rosters 2019|
New England’s average age is 27.2, and the Pats’ starters average an NFL-high 28.6. Even if you take 42-year-old Tom Brady out of the mix, the Pats still are the oldest overall roster and the third oldest group of starters. (There is some subjectivity in counting starters. In general, News numbers count a third receiver as a starter over a fullback, if that third receiver usually sees a lot more snaps.)
Miami, which by most perspectives is embracing a tank season, is the youngest overall at 24.9 years and has by far the most rookies and first-year players – 16.
The most accurate way to measure the age of a team is by weighting the age of each player by the number of snaps they play over the course of the season. Football Outsiders conducts that study. New England had the oldest roster in the NFL last year.
Last year the Bills were at about the middle of the NFL in overall age (14th). They were 24th on offense and 10th on defense. But the Bills have gotten younger on offense this year, by jettisoning 30-something starters LeSean McCoy, Russell Bodine, Vlad Ducasse and Charles Clay.