When fans and pundits talk about windows for NFL success, they're looking at a team that won't stay together in its current incarnation for long. There's a variety of factors that go into that—teams butting up against the cap, teams that don't have enough draft picks—but age stands out as a major factor.
When we talk about the Falcons having a championship window, we're referring to their age. With good reason, too.
ESPN broke down the age of all likely starters on each NFL team and came up with estimates for the oldest and youngest teams in the game today. This is hardly scientific, given that starters can change, particularly for a Falcon team that has brought aboard a lot of young defensive talent this off-season. Still, it's likely to be fairly accurate. Oh, and terrifying.
The Falcons, according to this little study, have the second oldest starting lineup in the NFL when you average everything out. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because the team they have also happens to be a great one, a team that was a handful of plays away from a Super Bowl berth in 2012.
Still, looking at this, you begin to understand why the Falcons cut ties with veterans like John Abraham and invested a lot of draft capital into the defense, which is listed as the third oldest in the NFL. You can load up on free agents and try to make a multi-year run, but you generally pay for that on the other end. The Falcons are trying to have the best of both worlds, bringing in guys like Osi Umenyiora and Steven Jackson for a run this year while adding a ton of useful young players for the future.
It's anyone's guess if that will pay off, but looking at this team as currently constructed, it's a move worth making.
Your thoughts on the old but good Falcons?