As the Raiders headed into the 2018 season opener, they ranked as the NFL’s oldest team.
The average age of the players on the Oakland roster was 27.4 for a team that eventually went 4-12.
Now – after a busy offseason, a big haul of rookies and the departure of many veterans -- Jon Gruden’s second Raiders team is significantly younger.
The Raiders of 2019 have an average age of 25.6 years, the ninth-youngest roster in the league, according to Jimmy Kempski, who compiles the average-age roster data before the start of every season for the Philadelphia Voice.
This year’s youngest roster (25.2 years) belongs to the Dolphins. The Patriots (27.0) have the oldest.
As Kempski notes, that average age difference of 1.8 years doesn’t seem like much. But, he writes, “While 1.8 years may not be a monumental difference between two individual players, keep in mind that these are the average ages of 53 players per team … 1.8 years on average (of) 53 players = a difference of about 95.4 total years between the Dolphins and Patriots. In other words, if you took the 19 oldest Patriots and shaved five years off each of their ages, their roster still wouldn’t be as young as the Dolphins’ roster.”
The Dolphins-Patriots age difference is the same margin between the Raiders of 2018 and 2019.
As general manager Mike Mayock told the San Francisco Chronicle this weekend, “There’s been a significant change.”
A big part of the change has been the addition of 12 rookies on this year’s roster, with eight draft picks and four undrafted college players (fullback Alec Ingold, punter A.J. Cole, offensive tackle Andre James and cornerback Keisean Nixon).
“Obviously, the big picture is there’s a lot of transition on this roster,” Mayock told Matt Kawahara of the Chronicle. “Underscoring youth, athletic ability, size, et cetera. I’m excited these kids are with us.”
The Raiders open the regular season Monday night, Sept. 9 at home against the Denver Broncos, with kickoff set for 7:20.