Just two years ago, the Seattle Seahawks were a veteran team led by a core that had been on top of the world after defeating the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. However, in the two years since then injuries and free agency have seen a very large portion of the roster move on. Gone are defensive mainstays such as Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, while on the offensive side of the ball neither Doug Baldwin nor Jimmy Graham are on the team any longer. In short, it’s been a breathtaking transformation of the team in shifting from a group of established, known players to a team of youngsters with significant upside.
However, even with as much youth as there is on the roster, with 23 players age 24 or younger and more than half the roster (28 of 53 players) 25 or younger, the majority snaps are being played by veterans. Just to give a general overview of this, the Seahawks have played 4,422 offensive and defensive snaps combined, with the average snap weighted age being 27.21 years. That 27.21 is nearly identical to the snap weighted age of the Los Angeles Rams, who so far in 2019 have a snap-weighted age of 27.32 years.
The youngest team in the NFC West by this metric is the San Francisco 49ers, who come in at 26.42, while the lowly Arizona Cardinals aren’t just winless, they also have the highest age of any team in the division using this methodology at 27.6 years. Most of that is a result of the fact that even though the Cardinals have a roster that is absolutely loaded with young potential, the roster is also carrying Larry Fitzgerald and Terrell Suggs, neither of whom is a spring chicken.
Curious about this, I did a tiny bit more digging and found that I was somewhat surprised by the distribution of starters over the age of 30 for each of these four teams. Defining a starter as any player that has played at least fifty percent of their team’s snaps, the four teams stack up against one another as follows when it comes to over-30 players.
- San Francisco 49er: 3
- Los Angeles Rams: 4
- Arizona Cardinals: 6
- Seattle Seahawks: 7
Looking at it again from this perspective we see that again the Seahawks have a roster that has more over-30 starters than their division rivals. Of course, with Mike Iupati and Duane Brown two of the oldest starting offensive linemen in the league, this should not come as all that big of a surprise, it’s just another thing to watch for because it appears that the Seattle roster may sneakily be older than many anticipate.