NFL GM's and head coaches probably care less about Brandon Weeden's age than the rest of us

Read any scouting report on Brandon Weeden, and they'll all have almost unanimous agreement that he has all the attributes of a stellar QB prospect: Big arm, good accuracy, intelligence, mechanics, leadership, and other intangibles. The one and only knock on him, which Weeden even acknowledged at the Combine, is that he's 28 years of age:

That's really the only knock on me is my age. I have fun with it. And here's the fact, I can't change it. I can change a lot of things, my footwork, throwing motion, release. I can't change my birth certificate. I wish I could pull a Danny Almonte, but I can't do it.

I happen to be a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. I'm 34 years old. If I'm lucky enough to have a long, healthy life, I'll be an Eagles fan for the next 50 or so years. As such, whenever the Eagles draft a player in the first round, I envision them playing for my team for the next decade plus. I think we all do. In the 2011 draft, the Eagles selected Danny Watkins, a player that will be well into his 30's when his rookie contract expires. On draft night last year, I did not approve.

However, unless you're a bandwagon fan, there's a good chance your life expectancy of following a particular team is going to last far, far longer than the folks making your team's personnel decisions.

Of the 32 NFL head coaches, the average number of years completed with their current team is a staggeringly low 3.7 years. The harsh reality of the NFL is... You better win... as in right now... or you're gone.

But GM's typically last longer though, right? Yes, they do, but not that much longer. The average number of years completed by the 32 NFL GM's (the Pats don't have a "true GM") is 5.3 years. Take Jerry Jones and Mike Brown out of the equation, two GM's that would have been fired several times over if they didn't own their teams, and that average number drops to just 4.2 years.

The dynamics of who actually is making decisions varies from team to team, but here's how long the GM and head coach has been in place on your team:

Team GM Tenure Coach Tenure
Cowboys Jerry Jones 23 Jason Garrett 1
Bengals Mike Brown 21 Marvin Lewis 9
Cardinals Rod Graves 15 Ken Whisenhunt 5
Steelers Kevin Colbert 12 Mike Tomlin 5
Saints Mickey Loomis 10 Sean Peyton 6
Panthers Marty Hurney 10 Ron Rivera 1
Ravens Ozzie Newsome 9 John Harbaugh 4
Chargers AJ Smith 9 Norv Turner 5
Packers Ted Thompson 7 Mike McCarthy 6
Texans Rick Smith 6 Gary Kubiak 6
Jets Mike Tannenbaum 6 Rex Ryan 3
Giants Jerry Reese 5 Tom Coughlin 8
Falcons Thomas Dimitroff 4 Mike Smith 4
Dolphins Jeff Ireland 4 Joe Philbin 0
Patriots Floyd Reese* 3 Bill Belichick 12
Lions Martin Mayhew 3 Jim Schwartz 3
Broncos Brian Xanders 3 John Fox 1
Buccaneers Mark Dominik 3 Greg Schiano 0
Jaguars Gene Smith 3 Mike Mularkey 0
Chiefs Scott Pioli 3 Romeo Crennel 0
Eagles Howie Roseman 2 Andy Reid 13
Seahawks John Schneider 2 Pete Carroll 2
Redskins Bruce Allen 2 Mike Shanahan 2
Bills Buddy Nix 2 Chan Gailey 2
Browns Tom Heckert 2 Pat Shurmur 1
49ers Trent Baalke 1 Jim Harbaugh 1
Bears Phil Emery 0 Lovie Smith 8
Vikings Rick Speilman 0 Leslie Frazier 1
Titans Ruston Webster 0 Mike Munchak 1
Rams Les Snead 0 Jeff Fisher 0
Colts Ryan Grigson 0 Chuck Pagano 0
Raiders Reggie McKenzie 0 Dennis Allen 0

Would a GM/coach prefer to draft an excellent prospect that's 23 years old as opposed to 28? No question. But if they think they can win with the 28 year old, and potentially sooner than later, you can be downright certain that a number of decision makers care a hell of a lot less about the player's age than you and me.

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