How Young Are Packers? The Incredible Numbers

The “green and growing” Packers fielded by far the youngest roster in the NFL in 2023. A Packer Central examination shows they could hold that mantle again.
Packers GM Brian Gutekunst
Packers GM Brian Gutekunst / Sarah Kloepping/USA TODAY
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers were the youngest team in the NFL last season and might be again in 2024.

According to a Packer Central examination of NFL rosters on Day 1 of OTAs, the Packers have a league-low one player who is 30-plus years old. That’s starting defensive end Preston Smith, who will turn 32 in November.

No other team has fewer than four players who are 30-plus.

The San Francisco 49ers boast by far the most veteran-laden group in the league. Their roster includes 18 players who are at least 30. That’s six more than any other team.

In the NFC North, the Minnesota Vikings have eight, and the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears have six each.

The league median is eight.

League-wide, there are 252 players who are 30-plus years old. That’s an average of 7.88. The Packers have just 0.40 percent of the total.

“I don’t think there’s a goal to be one of the youngest five teams,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said after adding 11 players in the 2024 NFL Draft. “I think we want to be young, we want to be growing, we want to be getting better. We want to have young legs and to be fast.”

However, he continued: “I think the age thing is just a number. It’s more about our explosiveness, our speed and the competition part of it. We’ll never shy away from being younger; I don’t think we’ll ever do that.

“I do think we want to be green and growing. This group that took the field last year for us, it’s important that they continue to grow because we’re going to always bring in competition, so they’re going to need to keep getting better if they want to accomplish their goals that they want to accomplish.”

The Packers’ 89-man roster includes 20 rookies. On the other hand, the Packers have only 16 players who are past their four-year rookie contracts.

Broken down, the veteran portion of the roster includes:

- Six players in Year 5, including two starters (Jordan Love and Xavier McKinney).

- Six players in Year 6, including four starters (Rashan Gary, Josh Jacobs, Elgton Jenkins, Keisean Nixon).

- Four players in Year 7 and beyond, including three starters (Jaire Alexander, Year 7; defensive tackle Kenny Clark, Year 9; Smith, Year 10).

The Packers had by far the youngest team in the NFL last season.

Players Ages 30-Plus on Every NFL Roster

Here are the number of players who are 30-plus years old on every NFL roster as of May 20, along with the oldest player(s) on each team. Note: Since so many of the oldest players are long snappers, kickers and punters, the players listed are the oldest non-specialists.

San Francisco 49ers: 18 (LT Trent Williams, 35)

Houston Texans: 12 (QB Case Keenum, 36)

Cleveland Browns: 12 (S Rodney McLeod, 33)

New Orleans Saints: 11 (LB Demario Davis, 35)

Pittsburgh Steelers: 11 (QB Russell Wilson, DT Cam Heyward, 35)

Washington Commanders: 11 (LB Bobby Wagner, 33)

Baltimore Ravens: 10 (QB Josh Johnson, 38)

New York Giants: 9 (TE Chris Manhertz, 32)

Buffalo Bills: 9 (OLB Von Miller, 35)

New York Jets: 9 (QB Aaron Rodgers, 40)

Dallas Cowboys: 9 (CB Chris Godwin, 34)

Seattle Seahawks: 9 (QB Geno Smith, 33)

Jacksonville Jaguars: 9 (G Tyler Shatley, 33)

Indianapolis Colts: 8 (QB Joe Flacco, 39)

Carolina Panthers: 8 (QB Andy Dalton, 36)

Minnesota Vikings: 8 (S Harrison Smith, 35)

Atlanta Falcons: 8 (QB Kirk Cousins, 35)

Miami Dolphins: 8 (S Jordan Poyer, 33)

Philadelphia Eagles: 7 (DE Brandon Graham, 36)

Denver Broncos: 7 (FB Michael Burton, 32)

Los Angeles Rams: 6 (QB Matthew Stafford, 36)

Detroit Lions: 6 (G Kevin Zeitler, 34)

Chicago Bears: 6 (WR Keenan Allen, 32)

Las Vegas Raiders: 6 (DT John Jenkins, 34)

Kansas City Chiefs: 6 (TE Travis Kelce, 34)

New England Patriots: 6 (OLB Matthew Judon, QB Jacoby Brissett, C David Andrews, 31)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5 (LB Lavonte David, 34)

Los Angeles Chargers: 5 (OLB Khalil Mack, 33)

Tennessee Titans: 4 (WR DeAndre Hopkins, 31)

Arizona Cardinals: 4 (OT Kelvin Beachum, 34)

Cincinnati Bengals: 4 (C Ted Karras, OT Trent Brown, 31)

Green Bay Packers: 1 (DE Preston Smith, 31)

“It’s a young man’s game. I certainly think you want to avoid getting old. I think it’s nice to have a mix of vets and youth. It’s an ebb and flow, right? It depends on where you are contractually with other guys, but I do think we put an emphasis on staying young. We went through, a couple of years ago, we were aging, I think you could see that. It’s a young man’s game. I think anybody that has been in this business will tell you that.”

Jon-Eric Sullivan, VP player personnel

More Green Bay Packers News

Packers OTAs: Battles on defense | Battles on offense | Projected depth charts | NFC North roundtable | Record predictions

College coaches: Edgerrin Cooper | Javon Bullard | MarShawn Lloyd | Ty’Ron Hopper | Evan Williams | Jacob Monk | Kitan Oladapo | Michael Pratt | Kalen King (coming)

NFL schedule: Make-or-break moments | Favored in how many? | Bye-week blues? | Predicting every game | Here it is | Game previews | Toughest stretch | Preseason | Schedule for every team


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Bill Huber

BILL HUBER

Bill Huber, who has covered the Green Bay Packers since 2008, is the publisher of Packer Central, a Sports Illustrated channel. E-mail: packwriter2002@yahoo.com History: Huber took over Packer Central in August 2019. Twitter: https://twitter.com/BillHuberNFL Background: Huber graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he played on the football team, in 1995. He worked in newspapers in Reedsburg, Wisconsin Dells and Shawano before working at The Green Bay News-Chronicle and Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1998 through 2008. With The News-Chronicle, he won several awards for his commentaries and page design. In 2008, he took over as editor of Packer Report Magazine, which was founded by Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Nitschke, and PackerReport.com. In 2019, he took over the new Sports Illustrated site Packer Central, which he has grown into one of the largest sites in the Sports Illustrated Media Group.