The Detroit Lions are often painted as a young up-and-coming team in the NFL just biding their time before ascension to elite status, but in reality the Lions have the oldest roster in the NFL based on average age. As pointed out by Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, only two NFL teams -- the Lions and the San Diego Chargers -- have an average age of 27 years or older, and Detroit (27.42) edges the Chargers (27.27) for the dubious distinction of the oldest team in the NFL.
Jason Hanson and Ben Graham, who are 42 and 39 years old, respectively, can take some of the blame. Even so, key performers like Jeff Backus, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Corey Williams are all well on the wrong side of 30 years old. In sum, 16 players on the 53-man roster are over the age of 30 for the Lions.
The good news for the Lions is that the skill position players who matter most are still young. Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Titus Young, Louis Delmas all do their part to pull the team's average age down. The future can still be considered bright for Detroit, but they will have to work carefully to replace those aged vets over the next few seasons if they hope to sustain any level of success. Just for reference, the Chicago Bears had an average age of 26.62 and the Green Bay Packers clocked at 25.70.
For more on the Lions, check out Pride Of Detroit.