Miami, as it is right now (and because of NT Jason Ferguson’s suspension) will dress just six 30-somethings on opening day. Backup QB Chad Pennington stands to be the oldest player in a Dolphins uniform.
Similarly, the Patriots have 24 draft picks of either 2009 or 2010 on their roster now, and if they all make the team (which is kind of unlikely, but might be ideal), that’s almost half of your players. The Bills have committed to building through the draft too, and the Jets remain youthful, even with some of their graybeard signings this offseason.
So I decided to take the time and look at the makeup of each team, and what I found — with all the rosters carrying more than 80 players right now — is that there are just 43 players in the entire division who will be 30-or-over on opening day. Here’s the breakdown:
Patriots (16) — OLB Tully Banta-Cain, QB Tom Brady, TE Alge Crumpler, RB Kevin Faulk, WR Torry Holt. OT Nick Kaczur, C Dan Koppen, DL Damione Lewis, OT Matt Light, RB Sammy Morris, WR Randy Moss, G Stephen Neal, WR David Patten, CB Shawn Springs, RB Fred Taylor, DL Gerard Warren
Jets (10) — DE Shaun Ellis, TE Ben Hartsock, NT Kris Jenkins, G Brandon
Moore, FB Tony Richardson, LB Bart Scott, OLB Jason Taylor, OLB Bryan
Thomas, RB LaDainian Tomlinson, OT Damien Woody
Bills (10) — OL Kirk Chambers, LB Andra Davis, OL Cornell Green, DE Chris Kelsay, K Rian Lindell, FB Corey McIntyre, LB Kawika Mitchell, P Brian Moorman, DE Aaron Schobel, DT Marcus Stroud
Dolphins (7) — CB Will Allen, S Yeremiah Bell, LS John Denney, NT Jason Ferguson, C Jake Grove, QB Chad Pennington, RB Ricky Williams
Those numbers, of course, are going to be in flux. But it is interesting to see how just about everyone in the division has made that effort to stay young.