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Buccaneers have fewest old players in NFL

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven't been drafting well and they've gone on multple free-agent binges in the past few years. And yet somehow, they're a team with the fewest amount of old players on the roster. No NFL team has fewer 30-and-over players than the Bucs do, according to Jimmy Kempski.

Those 30+ players are cornerback Mike Jenkins, wide receiver Vincent Jackson, punter Michael Koenen and guard Logan Mankins. You'll notice that none of those players were drafted by the Bucs. Indeed, all of them were added from outside the team over the past four years, Mankins through trade and the other three through free agency.

Which isn't very odd, and a consequence of a few things. The first is that they were terrible at drafting basically every year in the 2000s, and the main contingent of old players on any team's roster consists of players they've drafted and re-signed. The Bucs simply haven't had the opportunity to re-sign their own old guys, because they weren't good enough.

The second is that the Bucs didn't use free agency much for most of the period of 2009-2011, and most of the veteran players they signed the past three years busted -- the only free agent to stick around from the beforetimes is punter Michael Koenem, and he'll almost certainly be cut this year.

Having few old players is largely a good thing, though. It means that your roster is set for sustained success, that they won't need to replace many players thanks to age. But it's also a symptom of repeated failed regimes. And the Bucs are now struggling to recover from those failures.