When the Buffalo Bills announced that veteran defensive end Chris Kelsay was retiring on Wednesday evening, many observers astutely pointed out that he was simply the latest 30-something player on a bad defense that would not be returning to the team in 2013.
It's true - with Kelsay's retirement following the releases of linebacker Nick Barnett, cornerback Terrence McGee and safety George Wilson earlier this month, the Bills have shed the salaries of four players in their thirties from their salary cap as the team's defense gets even younger. Three more 30-somethings - defensive tackle Spencer Johnson and linebackers Bryan Scott and Kirk Morrison - are free agents, and may not return to the team.
The Bills' two oldest defenders on the roster at the moment are two 29-year-olds that will turn 30 this spring - pass rusher Mark Anderson and defensive lineman Kyle Williams. Both were fifth-round draft picks in 2006, and for now, both are projected starters for a Bills defense that could have six starters age 25 or under (Marcell Dareus, Kelvin Sheppard, Nigel Bradham, Stephon Gilmore, Aaron Williams and Da'Norris Searcy.) next season. In 2012, the team's youth movement was confined to the defensive backfield; now, it appears the whole defense is getting younger.