Roseman has built an Eagles roster that's talented and young

Roseman has built an Eagles roster that's talented and young originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Howie Roseman has built a 2023 Eagles roster that appears to be jammed with talent, a team many experts believe is primed for another Super Bowl run.

What he’s done simultaneously is build a team jammed with young talent. And that’s important for a few reasons.

First of all, all the analytics say young players stay healthier than older players. We saw last year just how important that is.

Secondly, young players are generally cheaper than older veterans. Building a roster in a salary cap era, that’s huge.

And maybe most importantly, collecting a large group of young players gives a team the opportunity to grow and achieve continuity. The longer you can keep an elite roster intact, the longer your window is to win a championship.

The Eagles’ average age – 26.15 according to Spotrac – puts them in the middle of the pack at 12th in the league. But that’s a little deceiving because guys like Jason Kelce and Brandon Graham raise the average so much. Without those two, the average goes down to 25.80, which would make the Eagles’ the 4th-youngest team.

A better gauge is the median, which is right around 25 ½. The 26th-oldest player on the roster is Jack Stoll, who turned 25 in January.

Of the 53 currently on the roster, 33 players are 26 or younger and only eight are 29 or older.

The Eagles have 10 projected starters who are 25 or younger. The only times in the last 50 years they’ve had 10 players 25 or younger start at least 10 games are 1988 and 2021.

Think about some of the Eagles' most promising players.

Nakobe Dean, Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith are 22. Sydney Brown and Jordan Davis are 23. Reed Blankenship, Landon Dickerson, Kenny Gainwell, Cam Jurgens, DeVonta Smith, D’Andre Swift and Milton Williams are 24. Jalen Hurts and Quez Watkins are 25. A.J. Brown, Jordan Mailata and Josh Sweat are 26.

How can Josh Sweat possibly still be 26? He really is.

Even most of the “older” guys on the roster – Avonte Maddox, Rashaad Penny, Dallas Goedert, Haason Reddick and Zach Cunningham – are either 27 or 28.

And the only starters in their 30s are James Bradberry – who just turned 30 a few weeks ago – along with Darius Slay, Fletcher Cox, Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson.

That would be the fewest Eagles starters in their 30s since 2010 with Quintin Mikell, Juqua Parker and Michael Vick.

Roseman knows how important it is for the roster to stay young. Really, one of the tenets the franchise built on is keeping as many players as healthy as possible through a young roster, shorter and less frequent practices, an emphasis on diet, nutrition and recovery and so on.

Consider the 20 players on the roster who weren't on last year's opening-day roster: 15 of the 20 are 26 or younger and seven of the eight who are 25 or older – all but 26-year-old Fred Johnson – are on one-year contracts.

That’s really the key to all of this. Keep the roster young and when you do add older players, sign them to one-year contracts so you’re not burdened with potential dead cap money or overpaid aging players.

The Eagles currently have 39 players under contract for 2024 and only seven of them are older than 26: Lane Johnson (33), Slay (32), Bradberry (30), Goedert (28), Reddick (28), Jake Elliott (28) and Maddox (27).

Of course, most important is that the Eagles aren’t just young. They’re young and talented. It’s a dangerous combination.