In 2009, there were 10 players on the active roster that were products of the 1970's, and of course one quarterback who was born in '69.
Think the cliché that says a team gets old fast is just that?
Fast forward three seasons and the roster looks completely different, and a whole lot younger. There are only two players on the current roster that were born in the 70's. Quarterback Sage Rosenfels and 14 year cornerback Antoine Winfield are the last of a dying breed.
Sure, some of the "old guys" are just retiring from football, but the team has turned their ship 180 degrees, choosing to sail in a different direction. That 2009 roster had an average age of 27.21 years old. The current roster as it stands has the average age at 24.85. Even last season, the team ranked as the 10th oldest team after the team's 53-man cutdown and that was without a 40 something quarterback under center.
"It's tough to make teams let alone last this long, especially the position I play in," said Winfield after organized team activities. "I feel blessed. All I can do is work hard and try to hold my position down."
Last season, the youngest team in the NFL was the Carolina Panthers with an average age of 25. The Vikings current number counts 89 players on the roster, the player number will drop and the age will rise when the team drops to 53 this fall.
The organization made a decision to go all in with a veteran team and the results gave them a one year window that closed just as fast as it opened. It may take this group a little time to even get back to relevance let alone a playoff conversation.
While the oldest five teams in 2011, Washington, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, the Vikings and Baltimore finished their seasons with a combined 36-44 record, only the Steelers and Ravens made the playoffs. The five youngest teams included St. Louis, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay and Carolina. Those teams finished a combined 22-58 and none, even the Eagles qualified for the postseason.
While there are always exceptions to any rules, the reality for the Vikings and their fan base is that going younger makes sense, the play for the postseason maybe a talking point and little more. Of the teams that drafted in the top ten of this past NFL draft, only the Colts had gone only one season without participating in the playoffs. While this was due to Peyton Manning's injury, Indianapolis secured the top draft choice and with a rookie quarterback at the helm, it may be some time until the Colts vie for another Super Bowl. The Bills who drafted 10th overall have not seen the playoffs since 1999.
So, as the team dons a new era of Vikings football, this group of grid iron youngsters are going to need to pick up quick and translate talent into triumph of wins and maybe someday, a trophy.