WSJ data analysis shows average length of NFL careers decreasing

Tuesday March 1st, 2016

The average NFL career has shortened in length by about two and a half years, according to the Wall Street Journal’s analysis of data from 2008 to 2014.

Since 2008, players have been retiring earlier than in previous years. The quarterback position has seen the most change from about six years to 3 years and one month. The average career across all positions fell from 4.99 years to 2.66, according the Pro-Football-Reference data observed by the WSJ.

2016 NFL draft’s top 100 prospects

Offensive linemen have the longest careers of all players as they average playing time for approximately three years and eight months. Wide receivers have the shortest careers with an average of 2 years and 2.5 months.

The report also found that less players were being used in the league in recent years. In 2015, 1,973 players played at least one snap which is down just over 100 from the 1,894 in 2007.

Concussions and other health risks have been major concerns and reasons for players deciding to walk away from the sport over the last few years.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.