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Bruce Arians: Cardinals can get 'younger in a couple spots'

TEMPE, Ariz. -- As Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians stood on the putting green at the TPC Scottsdale last Tuesday, he told ESPN that the Cards “need to get younger in a couple spots.”

That got me thinking: Which spots was Arians talking about?

I went through the Cardinals' roster, breaking it down by age and position, which led me to three areas in which age will be a factor in how the Cardinals approach this offseason -- defensive line, outside linebacker and safety.

Aside from quarterback, defensive line was the oldest position on average last season for the Cardinals at 27.5 years old. Cory Redding is 35, Frostee Rucker is 32 and Red Bryant is 31. Calais Campbell turns 30 on Sept. 1.

Outside linebacker has the third-oldest average age at 27.3, thanks in large part to two 35-year-olds: Dwight Freeney and Jason Babin. LaMarr Woodley is 31.

At safety, Rashad Johnson and Chris Clemons are both 30.

All three are positions the Cardinals could get younger at, and are expected to through either free agency or the draft.

Of the nine players listed above, five are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents -- Bryant, Freeney, Woodley, Johnson and Clemons.

If Arizona decided to move on from all five, it would be able to get younger at no cost. That might cost Arizona on the field, however. Freeney led the team in sacks and Johnson tied for the team lead in interceptions.

Here’s a look at the oldest and youngest players and the average age at each position as the roster currently stands:

QUARTERBACK

Oldest: Carson Palmer, 36

Youngest: Matt Barkley, 25

Average age: 30.7

RUNNING BACK

Oldest: Chris Johnson, 30

Youngest: Marion Grice, 23

Average age: 25.4

WIDE RECEIVER

Oldest: Larry Fitzgerald, 32

Youngest: J.J. Nelson and Jaxon Shipley, 23

Average age: 26

TIGHT END

Oldest: Darren Fells, 29

Youngest: Troy Niklas and Gerald Christian, 23

Average age: 25.6

OFFENSIVE LINE

Oldest: Lyle Sendlein, 31

Youngest: D.J. Humphries, 22

Average age: 26.4

DEFENSIVE LINE

Oldest: Cory Redding, 35

Youngest: Rodney Gunter, Josh Mauro, Olsen Pierre, Xavier Williams, 24

Average age: 27.5

INSIDE LINEBACKER

Oldest: Sean Weatherspoon, 28

Youngest: Gabe Martin, 23

Average age: 25

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER

Oldest: Jason Babin and Dwight Freeney, 35

Youngest: Shaq Riddick, 22

Average age: 27.3

CORNERBACK

Oldest: Jerraud Powers, 28

Youngest: Carrington Byndom and Kevin White, 23

Average age: 24.8

SAFETY

Oldest: Rashad Johnson and Chris Clemons, 30

Youngest: Tyrann Mathieu and Deone Bucannon, 23

Average age: 25.3

SPECIAL TEAMS

Oldest: Drew Butler, 26

Youngest: Chandler Catanzaro, 24

Average age: 25