With AFC QBs Aging, NFC Could Rule for Years

With AFC QBs Aging, NFC Could Rule for Years

When Peyton Manning went to the Broncos and David Garrard went to the Dolphins, it struck me how old the AFC is becoming at quarterback.

With Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Cassel either at 30 or right on the cusp, the AFC -- if Garrard wins the Dolphins' job -- will have 10 starting quarterbacks in their 30s by the end of November (Fitzpatrick turns 30 on Nov. 24). That's a lot. And in some respects, it's a little scary.

As Manning proved in Indianapolis, nothing is forever. The surefire Hall of Famer -- who never missed a game, much less a play, during his first 13 years -- missed the 2011 season because of at least three neck operations. The Colts were fortunate to lose enough games to be in position to draft Andrew Luck, who could be the next Manning.

Quarterbacks aren't like running backs, who are targeted for replacement once they get past the age of 28. But when quarterbacks start to get into their mid-30s, you start to worry about their longevity. That's a concern for a conference with this many veteran quarterbacks.

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