Eagles finding bargains in over-30 bin, stockpiling picks

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Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie rolled out a striking stat at the NFL owners meetings a couple of weeks back, noting that 65 percent of the league is composed of first- to third-year players.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

The league is getting younger. Football Outsiders has a metric called snap-weighted age, which shows the average age of players on the field has steadily declined since the website began tracking it in 2006, reaching a record-low average of 26.46 years in 2017. An Associated Press study found that average experience on NFL rosters has shrunk from 4.6 years to 4.3 years since 2005, with the number of players with five-plus years of service dipping from 714 to 644 in that span.

The upcoming draft will increase this figure, but only 42 percent of the Eagles' active roster is currently made up of first- to third-year players, well below the league average. An organization that used to be allergic to paying guys north of 30 years old was liberal in that department this offseason. It traded for DeSean Jackson (age 32) and signed Andrew Sendejo (31) and Vinny Curry (31). The other notable acquisition, Malik Jackson, is 29. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the Eagles are one of two teams that added three players this offseason who will be at least 31 years old when the 2019 season begins, along with the Tennessee Titans. Philadelphia also gave new contracts to Brandon Graham (31), Jason Kelce (31) and Jason Peters (37).3

Rosters change regularly, but Elias currently has Philly as the sixth-oldest team in the NFL (averaging 26.4 years of age), behind the New England Patriots (27.1), Buffalo Bills (27.0), Atlanta Falcons (26.9), New Orleans Saints (26.6) and Titans (26.6). The Eagles have 14 players who will be playing in at least their eighth NFL season in 2019.

There is risk involved in loading up on so many players with tread on the tire, but the Eagles see value in importing older players, in part because it is actually helping fuel the youth movement that is right around the nike nfl jerseys wholesale

There has been a philosophical shift in the way the organization views signing players that have hit the 30-year mark. Previously, the thought was that free-agent resources should be allocated to players in or entering their prime as opposed to those facing an inevitable decline. But the landscape has changed, and the Eagles' approach along with it. Executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman explained that teams are getting better at keeping their good, young players. The free agents who are making it to the market in their mid-20s now tend to be lower-impact players with inflated price tags. Why spend significant money on that level of talent when you can get a slightly older and more productive player at a discount?

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