Dolphins continue youth movement

It's difficult not to be intrigued by the Miami Dolphins' roster when you consider their collective age.

The Dolphins, coming off an AFC East title, went into 2009 with the most rookie and first-year players on their 53-man roster. The NFL average was 9.6, but the Dolphins carried 14.

They were the sixth-youngest team in the NFL at 26.09 years (league average 26.61 years). Only two teams were less experienced than Miami's average of 3.83 seasons per player (league average 4.48 seasons).

Miami is trending young again for this year. As Boston Globe writer Albert Breer points out, the Dolphins have a division-low seven players on their roster who will be 30 or older on opening weekend.

The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills have 10 apiece, while the New England Patriots have 16.

But of the Dolphins' seven tricenarians, only four likely will be in the starting lineup. One is long-snapper John Denney. Another is third-string quarterback Chad Pennington. The other is suspended nose tackle Jason Ferguson.

What I find even more remarkable about the Dolphins' average age is that, after trading Ted Ginn, they have only two players remaining from their 2007 draft class: backup defensive tackle Paul Soliai and punter Brandon Fields.

That's a one-year famine they seem to have compensated for with their past three classes, undrafted free agents and waiver pickups.