The Seattle Seahawks are in the middle of an offseason in which they face multiple contract decisions for start players, but whose ages are starting to bump up against the boundaries of age where play begins to slip. The Hawks have already seen age and injury take several key members of the team off the roster, including Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Cliff Avril, and it remains little more than a formality regarding when exactly Kam Chancellor will be cut with an injury designation.
It’s is no secret that football at the NFL level is an extremely physical game that takes a toll on the body of those who play it. The Hawks have watched multiple stars succumb to the effects of age during Pete Carroll’s time in the Pacific Northwest, and now the time approaches when the team must make yet even more decisions on players who ages have begun to sneak into the danger zone.
Fans and observers have watched the team lose multiple star players after late career contract extensions, including Marshawn Lynch, Chancellor and Michael Bennett, and the effect on the team and its salary cap has been noticeable. As fans watch aging stars like Doug Baldwin, Bobby Wagner and Duane Brown begin to push the limits of how much more can be expected in the coming seasons, Michael Lopez, the Director of Data and Analytics for the NFL authored the following tweet Monday that looks at the distribution of players by age by position.
Distribution of ages by positions. Kicking, snapping, throwing, and punting are skill-sets of older players in the league pic.twitter.com/X0k4Nl9pja— Michael Lopez (@StatsbyLopez) March 25, 2019
That chart is sorted with the positions with the positions with the highest average age at the top, while those positions that are typically younger are at the bottom. It is certainly no surprise that defensive backs are located near the bottom of the list, but according to this data wide receivers are actually younger than either defensive backs or linebackers. That to me is somewhat of a surprise, but with the number of medical issues Baldwin is facing this offseason, perhaps it should not come as too much of a surprise.
In any case, this is simply another piece of the puzzle for fans and the team to keep in mind as the Hawks continue their negotiations this offseason with key players like Bobby Wagner, who has been largely injury free recently, but is of an age where it becomes more likely for that to change on any given play.