Falcons new regime turnover is evident in Atlanta’s eighth-youngest roster

jarrett grady

It would be understandable for fans to equate star players with the age of the overall team. In reality, football is a team game, but stars win Super Bowls. Most people consider those championship windows to be revolved around the quarterback, and rightfully so. Veteran quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, and Ben Roethlisberger are undoubtedly near the end of the careers, but that doesn’t mean the window for a Super Bowl is closing on the rest of the team. With a 53-man roster, NFL teams can have a vastly different composition of personnel, most notably the roster’s average age.

Just because the Texans have one the youngest and brightest stars in the league in Deshaun Watson doesn’t mean they have an equally young and upcoming surrounding roster; in fact, Houston has the oldest average roster in the league (26.37 years old), according to Andrew Walker. The two most recognizable faces on the Falcons — Matt Ryan and Julio Jones — are considered veterans for their positions. Ryan, 36, and Jones, 32, have represented the city of Atlanta for more than a decade in a Falcons uniform and experienced multiple front office and head coaching changes.

Most analysts and journalists consider the Falcons to be one of the older teams in the league because of those two, but that would be wrong based on the team’s average age. Atlanta’s average age of 24.98 years old ties the Browns and Colts for the NFL’s eighth-youngest roster.

The new regime has clearly transformed the roster into a younger one. Matt Schaub, Todd Gurley, Alex Mack, Allen Bailey, Darqueze Dennard, James Carpenter, and Ricardo Allen, among others, were replaced with younger, cheaper options because of the team’s lack of cap flexibility. The team was top-heavy and still kind of is, but the new regime elected to bring in nine rookies through the draft to replace those meaningful snaps. Much of the 2021 draft class has a chance to play a significant portion of snaps at their respective positions and represent the Falcons’ future.

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