Around the NFC West: Youth served at RB

This was about the time last offseason when the San Francisco 49ers added running back Brandon Jacobs in free agency.

Around the NFC West: March 26, 2013

The signing got our attention because Jacobs was a relatively big-name player coming off a Super Bowl season, and he improved the 49ers' depth in the backfield before San Francisco used a second-round draft choice for LaMichael James.

I'm circling back to that signing because Jacobs was also 29 years old at the time. His addition to the NFC West gave the division yet another older back.

A year later, Jacobs is long gone. Two of the other backs getting up there in years, Leon Washington and Steven Jackson, are also gone.

The 49ers' Frank Gore, who turns 30 in May, is the only older halfback in the division. The Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch, who turns 27 next month, ranks second in age. The Arizona Cardinals' Alfonso Smith, who turned 26 in January, ranks third.

The average age for halfbacks in the division is 24.6. The median age is 24.4.

A question for us to consider as the 2013 season approaches: How much does Gore have left? His contract runs through 2014, by the way.