Roster Turnover in 2017: Number 20-11

20. Saints

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank
24.8%15.2%14.0%$1,242,26318.25

The Saints are almost always making lateral moves and this is more or less the same for them getting rid of a few key guys who are good enough to play in the NFL but not at a high level. The Saints are, because of their management of the salary cap, always in a position where situational players are given bigger roles which shows itself in the low APY of players lost. Now that number is a little lower than it should be because it includes the trade of Brandin Cooks on a rookie contract but the chart more or less summarizes why the team is stuck in neutral most years. If they had taken one year where they accepted a down season with bigger turnover they would probably be a lock as a playoff team instead of a 0.500 team.

19. Bears

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank
22.3%14.3%9.8%$2,622,08317.5

This has to qualify as one of the oddest offseasons of all time.  The Bears were relatively average in their turnover despite having a terrible team last season and went out and signed an expensive free agent quarterback and drafted a top QB but sold off their best receiver.  This has all the makings of a front office giving a head coach enough rope to hang himself so that their hands are clean when they fire him next season. When final rosters are set and we revisit the snaps gained and lost I expect everything to cancel out except for Glennon. If Glennon fails expect wholesale changes in 2018 with Fox being the fall guy for 2017. I don’t know if that’s the way to run the team or not.

18. Titans

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank
19.9%13.8%23.2%$1,646,50017.0

Following the salary cap on a league wide basis for over 5 years now, the Titans being average shouldn’t surprise me but for whatever reason it did. I really expected Tennessee to be active this year and they really weren’t.  They cut some so-so talent and replace it with so-so talent. I feel like this is a team that could have made a big leap but their refusal to really spend will cost them in the long run.

17. Patriots

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank
15.8%15.8%8.0%$4,630,00016.5

How can you not be impressed with the Patriots?  They are the only team in the league that saw every snap they lost be signed by another team in the NFL. Not just that but at the 5th highest average salary to boot. It’s not like the Patriots had no free agents like a team like the Chiefs. They simply saw all their guys signed. It’s a big difference between the Patriots and the Falcons, who saw few of their players signed. For those wondering New England, from a salary perspective, replaced just about everyone so as long as they get similar performance they should be perfectly fine in 2017.

16. Texans

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank
20.4%13.7%7.0%$6,216,66716.0

In terms of contract value nobody lost more than the Texans who sent off a big time contract in Brock Osweiler and lost AJ Bouye to free agency. Still even with all that they are only losing 14% of their quality snaps to free agency which is slightly below average. The question is can they overcome the loss of Bouye (we all know Osweiler was terrible) or will that have a major impact on the team. If they can do so expect another trip to the playoffs at 9-7, but if not expect a coaching change for failing to get back to the playoffs with a flawed team.

15. Browns

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank
30.3%15.9%8.4%$2,522,70915.5

Not surprisingly the Browns differential between total snaps and quality snaps is very large (its 4th in the NFL) but unlike the Jets they were able to find some homes for a few of their players at a reasonable $2.5 million per year. The fact that Cleveland was able to find some homes for their players probably speaks to the mish mosh of talent they have collected from a multitude of general managers for a number of different systems. They can’t really be any worse than they were last season, but I guess in theory they can be if the additions, mainly coming via the draft, fail to even live up to replacement level standards.

14. Redskins

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank
20.6%12.3%9.4%$4,961,94415.3

In what was a big surprise (for me at least) the Redskins let not just one but both their top receivers walk. Both signed pretty strong contracts, especially considering their age, which puts the Redskins in the top 5 for salary lost. Washington was willing to undergo a facelift as a contender which many teams won’t do. Im not sure if this done because they still do not know whether or not their quarterback for the long term is on the roster or because they simply saw those two as overpaid, but all three seem to show a team without a focus as Cousins and one of the other two could have been extended last year and early this winter.

13. Raiders

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank
18.2%14.0%30.2%$3,371,97013.5

With a number of important extensions coming up, including the recent $25 million per year contract for Derek Carr, the Raiders were not in a position to really keep anyone that was somewhat expensive, but not vital to the long term future. So out the door go Latavius Murray, Malcolm Smith, Menelik Watson, and Andre Holmes, among others. They also gutted their special teams, likely opening the way for a number of low draft picks and UDFAs to make the team. I was actually surprised to see how much money some of the Raiders free agents went for but teams valued some of these players pretty highly.

12. Panthers

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank
23.3%21.3%18.9%$2,150,37513.4

I think at this point Carolina is now able to make moves where finances are not the driving force as their salary cap is finally in order after 3 or 4 seasons of being in a real bind. While they did have a few key guys leave- Mike Remmers, AJ Klein, and Ted Ginn- the team was finally able to use free agency to try to improve on a disappointing year. My guess is when we factor in additions in the September version of this article, they may be one of the teams with the biggest expected changes, having added Matt Kalil, Captain Munnerlyn, Julius Peppers, Russell Shepard, and Mike Adams to the mix.

11. Lions

Snaps LostQuality Snaps LostQuality ST LostAvg. APY LostAvg. Rank
27.1%14.8%14.4%$3,093,45413.4

There was a lot of shifting by the Lions, who were a playoff team last year. They moved out Riley Reiff and Larry Warford, but paid big for Ricky Wagner and TJ Lang. The differential between the Lions snaps lost and quality snaps lost ranked 8th, which is pretty high for a playoff team and was second to the Falcons. The Lions in an attempt to upgrade the roster did sign a number of $3Mish type talents as they battle their own cap and contractual issues down the line.

  • Kevin Gallagher

    Yes, the Lions “moved out” Reiff and Warford, but the amount they paid for Lang and Wagner (both upgrades) was actually less than what Reiff and Warford got in FA.