Roster Turnover in 2017: Number 10-1

10. Packers

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank

Not surprisingly the rest of the league pounced on the Packers available players, paying a premium for some of those players. The question for Green Bay is how much will the loss of Lang, Peppers, Hyde, etc… hurt the team. The overall turnover for the team is less than average but these are quality players and the loss of quality can really hurt. Green Bay generally banks on their players failing when they leave Green Bay. They have probably been right more often than wrong, but they need some new players to step up and fill the voids.

9. Rams

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank

The Rams are a strange team that needed a change, but as you can see from the differential that this is a far departure from a squad like the Jets who effectively had nobody being signed elsewhere. Everyone more or less found a home either via trade or free agency and I think that’s a pretty strong indication about how people feel the Rams had solid individual talent that simply didn’t work together. They will keep their fingers crossed that all their free agent additions work better with the talent they already have in place. If they don’t it may be a very long season.

8. Vikings

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank

The Vikings saw a number of players that are viewed as quality mid tier guys, and one top level player, be signed in free agency. For the Vikings the mix wasn’t really working so this may be a situation where players like Matt Kalil, Rhett Ellison, Captain Munnerlynn, and Cordarelle Patterson can help teams get over the hump more than they could collectively in Minnesota. The team spent money so its not like money was an issue, though the contracts that they did sign were questionable. They will hope it’s a better mix.

7. Bengals

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank

I think we all should have seen this one coming from a mile away after the Bengals failed to fire this year. The Bengals have basically been the equivalent of an NBA 6 or 7 seed that generally always is in the playoffs but you knew they had no chance of knocking off any of the better teams. It’s a terrible place to be in any sport. The most questionable loss was Kevin Zeitler who was likely considered too expensive for the Bengals. Once that decision was made it was probably easier to part ways with veteran Andrew Whitworth, one of the best bargains in the history of the league, and embrace a new direction. The Bengals basically brought nobody in so they need strong contributions from their draft if they want to improve. This may be the sign of a 2-3 year project.

6. 49ers

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank

This ranking surprised me especially since Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned and doesn’t count as a lost “quality snap” because of that. For as bad as the 49ers were they saw a large number of free agents get opportunities to play elsewhere, though as you can see by the average APY they are almost all bubble players that may not be on a roster in September. Still teams saw enough talent to at least give them a look.

5. Jaguars

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank

When you look at the average salary of the players lost this year I think it speaks volumes to how bad a job that the Jaguars coaching staff has done in getting anything out of their team.  Julius Thomas, Kelvin Beachum, Prince Amukamara, Tyson Alualu, Jonathan Cyprien, and even Luke Joeckel (though in fairness that is a ridiculous contract) will all be starting somewhere next season while the Jaguars continue their constant rotation of poor free agent signings. Maybe Tom Coughlin changes the culture to where they finally get something out of this team, but this has been one of the worst run and performing franchises in recent memory.

4. Ravens

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank

This is another team that needed a change, but I do believe that some of their decisions are fueled by cap management, which is something that the Ravens have struggled with for the last few years. They have also struggled with the concept of retaining the younger player vs signing a more budget friendly older player that is a bit more of a known. Though they did sign Tony Jefferson this year, I think you can clearly question the decisions to use money on Maclin, Carr, and Woodhead when they should either be stockpiling for the future or being more aggressive with extensions before free agency hits.

3. Bills

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank

Speaking of roster and cap mismanagement, you have the Bills whose decisions the last few years led to them patching a team together with a ton of one year low cost veterans, many of whom are not in the NFL right now. It’s one thing to be aggressive when you are the Packers or Seahawks spending on talented players, but another thing to be the Bills and being aggressive on guys like Charles Clay to create bad financial situations. They finally started making changes in their front office which is a good thing because this has been groundhog day for the Bills fans since they signed Ryan Fitzpatrick and Mario Williams and continue to make the same type of mistakes over and over. New coaches have a tendency to surprise in the first year, which could happen here, but don’t be surprised if it’s a one year move while they get the rest of the team in order.

2. Cowboys

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank

Just based on turnover alone this is the one playoff team that stands to have a major shift. Gone are Ronald Leary, Doug Free, Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr, Barry Church, Terrell McClain, JJ Wilcox, and Jack Crawford with the incoming veterans being Byron Bell, Stephen Paea, and Nolan Carroll. Dallas simply is not in a position, especially with more extensions coming for their linemen, to keep anybody which is a tough pill to swallow for a team that was so good last year.  It isn’t that these players are not replaceable, its just that having to replace so many in one year is not an easy thing to accomplish. This is an example of why I mentioned about the Ravens decisions on older guys. Imagine if Dallas doesn’t blow nearly $9 million of cap room on a Greg Hardy, which there was no justification for doing.  All this stuff adds up and that money basically would have kept a Leary or two of the guys in the secondary for another year to lessen the blow.

1. Cardinals

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank

Arizona has been incredibly aggressive with their contracts in recent years which put them in a position where they were going to have a hard time keeping players this year. The Cardinals lost 4 defenders- Calais Campbell, Tony Jefferson, Kevin Minter, and Marcus Cooper- who played over 800 snaps last year. They will be replacing them with age in Antoine Bethea and Karlos Dansby which is generally not going to work out. I said going into last year that the Cardinals window may have closed with that playoff loss and they were the ultimate boom or bust team and barring a terrific season for Carson Palmer its hard to really see that changing while the team is doing what it can to fill in the pieces within their cap situation. After this season Larry Fitzgerald is a free agent while Palmer enters the final year of his deal. Palmer’s salary next year is $3.5 million less than this season so it would make sense for him to take the “raise or retire” approach which could mean lots more changes by next year.