Monday, June 7, 2010
What AFC East teams had most keepers?
In the past two seasons, three AFC East teams have gone to the playoffs. The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins won a division crown, and the New York Jets held a third-quarter lead in the conference championship.
One would think those front offices would want to keep those teams as intact as possible.
That's not the case across the board.
NFC West crony Mike Sando crafted an interesting post that charted how many holdovers each team kept from last year's season-ending rosters.
The chart shows how many Week 17 starters, backups and players from injured reserve remain with their 2009 teams. The retention rate divides those totals by the sum of 53 plus all players who were on IR lists in Week 17. The starter totals can be somewhat misleading for teams that rested key players before the playoffs, but the retention rates apply equally. Every team had 53 players on its roster in Week 17.
As you would predict, the Patriots and Dolphins ranked among the top 10 in players retained.
The Patriots kept 86.4 percent of their players, fifth highest in the NFL and second to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC.
The Dolphins dropped some big-name players in guard Justin Smiley, outside linebackers Joey Porter and Jason Taylor and safety Gibril Wilson. But they've kept 83.6 percent of their year-end roster, which is ninth.
Interestingly, the Dolphins have brought back 17 starters. Just three teams have held onto fewer: Carolina Panthers (15), New Orleans Saints (16), Detroit Lions (16).
The Jets, meanwhile, have tinkered enough to be ranked 23rd. They've retained only 75.4 percent of the players who helped them make their deep postseason run.
On one hand, you realize the Jets are being aggressive in assembling a team for the Super Bowl. On the other hand, you wonder how much they're violating the ain't-broke-don't-fix theory and whether it will negatively affect the team's chemistry.
The Buffalo Bills unsurprisingly have undergone a high turnover rate under new general manager Buddy Nix and new head coach Chan Gailey, who is switching to a 3-4 defense.
The Bills have retained 71.2 percent of the season-ending roster. Four teams have undergone greater upheaval. The Bills were ravaged by injuries last year, as illustrated by the fact they've kept 10 players who finished the season on IR. The Lions are the only team to bring back more IR players, with 11.