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The Falcons have the oldest roster in the NFL

Having a 41 year old kicker doesn’t help the curve

NFL: Preseason-Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons will very likely start three rookies on defense at some point in 2016. One would think that with the rebuilding the team has done, it would be trending as one of the youngest in the league. Incredibly, the opposite appears to be true, as the Falcons have the oldest average roster age in the entire NFL.

Initially, I was startled to see the Falcons as the oldest. Of all the teams in the NFL, I figured we would be somewhere in the middle, given the amount of first and second year players we will be starting on Sunday.

However, a deeper look at the roster reveals where some of the age comes from.

First of all, Matt Bryant is 41. He’s throwing off the curve a good bit, though I’m happy to have him on the roster. You’ve also got Jonathan Babineaux, who is 34 but is also no longer a starter on the team. Matt Ryan is 31, but in QB years that’s still relatively young. Offensive guard Chris Chester is 33, but one has to think this will be his last year on the team, and he may not be the starter at all. Phillip Wheeler is 31 years old, but again is not a starter and is probably not bound for the team in 2017. Dwight Freeney is 36, but again is a rotational guy and is most likely a “one year rental.”

Of all the lists to end up on, this one is not too concerning, as it lacks the nuance that gives you a complete picture. The Falcons are going to start quite a few young players on defense this year, and the age on offense is not at the most concerning positions.

However, the higher average age is an indication that the depth of your roster may be aging. If anything, this could be a favorable position to be in, as having veterans as your depth is preferable to having a bunch of untested rookies. A quick glance at the 2016 roster shows that this is true for the Falcons at several positions. Having veterans who are not overwhelmed by the game is important when injuries happen, and in most places, that’s exactly what the Falcons have.

The Falcons may have the oldest average age roster in the NFL, but that age is mostly where it should be: on the bench.

Your thoughts on the Falcons ranking on this list?