NFL study finds 6.86-year average career for players

The average career of an NFL player remains brief, but maybe not quite as brief as we’ve previously been told.

That according to a statistical analysis by NFL Management Council and AonHewitt, which released a study Thursday on NFL career life spans.

The analysis concluded that the 206 drafted rookies who began their careers on NFL 53-man rosters will have an average career of 6.86 years.

The study calculated the average expected NFL career length using statistics from its prior study on career expectancy for players entering the league between 1993 and 2002. 120 of the drafted players and 39 undrafted players entering the league during that time period earned spots on Week 1 rosters.

The average current experience listed on 2011 opening-day rosters is 4.3 years. However, this number doesn’t represent average expected career length.

This likely is a head-scratcher for some — especially NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and Co. — since for years, it has been said that the average NFL career lasts just three years, or less than half as long as the league now formally contends.

Coming off a contentious offseason between players and management, don’t be surprised if the league’s findings are┬ávigorously contested.

— Dan Hanzus

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