We wrote an article this week looking at the teams that have signed the most new players this offseason from other rosters.
It got us thinking: What rosters have been the most stable (and unstable) over the last two seasons? With the help of our NFL research department, we looked at how many players remained on each team from their 2011 rosters. The table to the right shows how many players on each team suited up for at least one game in 2011, and stayed on the roster since.
Five takeaways from the list:
1. No general manager has overhauled his roster more in a short time than Indianapolis Colts GM Ryan Grigson. Only seven players remain from the last Colts roster with Peyton Manning in town. (Although Manning didn't play in 2011.) It's remarkable the Colts have been able to make the playoffs two years in a row anyhow. It just shows how valuable a true franchise-quarterback draft pick can be. (Not to mention a ridiculously good record in close games.)
2. After the Colts, the teams with the least roster stability have struggled. It's interesting that the Saints, however, have so few players remaining from just two seasons ago. From the bounty scandal to big free-agent cuts to three defensive coordinators in three years, New Orleans quietly has been in a constant state of flux.
3. Dan Hanzus and I took a few minutes earlier this week trying to guess which teams would have the most players left from 2011. We guessed right that the Packers, 49ers and Seahawks would rank well. They are three teams that focus on draft and development. Jim Harbaugh arrived in 2011 and largely has kept "his guys" around, whether picked up through the draft or free agency. The same is true for Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, who started to churn the bottom of their roster aggressively back in 2010 before finding their type of players. Packers GM Ted Thompson famously sticks with his draft picks.
4. We never would have guessed that the Redskins were tied with Green Bay for the most players left from 2011. This speaks to a few factors. Washington was hamstrung over the last few years by salary cap issues. While the Redskins' new front office aggressively has picked up players this offseason, there are still a ton of "Shanahan" players in the building.
5. The Bengals have 22 players still left from their 2011 roster. This points out an uncomfortable, surprising fact for a lot of Bengals fans out there. Mike Brown has been exceedingly good at drafting over the last five years overall, and the Bengals quietly have built a stable, young, talented roster. Now they just need a quarterback to take them over the top.