Saturday, April 7, 2012
Big-picture look at 2012 NFC West rosters
By Mike Sando
A flurry of recent activity has pumped up roster counts around the NFC West.
The Seattle Seahawks added guard Deuce Lutui, linebacker Barrett Ruud and cornerback Roy Lewis. The Arizona Cardinals added safety James Sanders. The St. Louis Rams signed defensive end William Hayes. The San Francisco 49ers welcomed back receiver Brett Swain while announcing an earlier agreement with running back Brandon Jacobs.
Teams will continue supplementing their rosters heading into the draft and training camps.
With that in mind, I've put together two charts. The first one shows current roster counts. The second one shows where rosters stood at the 80-man limits on Sept. 2, 2011 -- offering a point of reference.
We can compare current roster counts (above) with 80-man counts from last September (below) to see where NFC West teams are short on players.
- Seattle: The Seahawks have more room for receivers and defensive linemen than for other positions. They have the most signed players of any team in the division.
- San Francisco: The 49ers have five fewer defensive backs than they had in September, but they were carrying an unusually large number at the time. Linebacker is a position where they could use numbers.
- Arizona: Offensive line and linebacker are the positions where the Cardinals have the most room, with defensive line next on the list.
- St. Louis: The Rams have the most room of any team in the division, both overall and at defensive line, linebacker and receiver.
Teams will add players through the draft before signing undrafted free agents. While veteran free agency has slowed for most teams, the Rams keep bringing in players for tryouts and visits. They have 21 roster spots to fill, most in the division.
I have arranged the first chart by which teams have the most players at present. The second chart lists teams in the same order for easier comparison. Teams will also release some of their current players, making the comparisons only general.