How Your Favorite NFL Team's 90 Man Roster was Assembled

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A look at how every NFL roster was assembled by year and method, with a special emphasis on the Philadelphia Eagles.

Recently I stumbled across a cool site called Pro Football Rosters that keeps track of how all 32 NFL rosters were built. Not only can you see how the players were added (trade, free agency, draft, etc.); you can also see what year they joined the team.

You can click here to see the Eagles full chart.

Let's jump into the data. Under each chart I listed some notes from the data that I found interesting.

YEAR CHART:

Here's a chart of when current tenured roster players were originally acquired by their teams:

Team 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Cardinals 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 2 1 3 8 11 16 47
Seahawks 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 13 19 22 31
49ers 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 2 4 2 2 8 15 18 36
Rams 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 9 33 41
Eagles 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 1 1 5 9 8 21 41
Cowboys 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 2 2 1 0 8 10 27 34
Giants 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 1 2 1 4 6 16 20 36
Redskins 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 4 2 7 19 27 30
Falcons 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 6 6 6 8 24 35
Panthers 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 3 2 5 5 12 28 33
Saints 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 1 3 3 9 10 22 34
Buccaneers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 1 13 8 9 31 32
Bears 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 1 0 3 2 7 10 26 36
Lions 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 6 12 7 24 39
Packers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 4 4 6 10 8 19 30
Vikings 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 3 4 2 6 15 25 31
Broncos 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 2 6 10 13 22 31
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 4 3 6 9 11 52
Raiders 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 1 5 7 24 48
Chargers 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 1 1 1 1 6 11 20 44
Bills 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 2 3 10 13 21 36
Dolphins 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 3 3 7 9 26 38
Patriots 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 3 4 6 10 19 42
Jets 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 2 8 14 23 39
Texans* 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 2 5 7 15 20 37
Colts 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 3 5 7 40 31
Jaguars 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 1 0 3 3 10 24 44
Titans 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 2 3 4 9 10 22 36
Ravens 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 3 2 8 13 24 36
Bengals 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 2 2 6 11 10 26 28
Browns 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 6 16 20 43
Steelers 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 2 1 2 0 5 9 9 22 36


Philadelphia Eagles notes:

  • About 69% of the Eagles current roster was acquired in 2012 & 2013.
  • The longest tenured Eagles are Trent Cole and Todd Herremans. They were acquired in 2005.

General NFL notes:

  • There are no players that were originally acquired by a team in 1999 that are still on the same team without ever playing elsewhere. (Sorry, Charles Woodson).
  • The 1 player that was originally acquired by the team they're still on and never played for another team is the Bears LS: Patrick Mannelly, 1998.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs have the most newly acquired players in 2013 with 52. No surprise there since there's a new coach in town. You may have heard of the guy: Andy Reid.
  • The Cincinnati Bengals have the least amount of newly acquired players in 2013 with 28.
  • The Colts have the most acquired players in 2012 with 40. The Redskins and Seahawks are tied at 19 in 2011. The Seahawks have the most in 2010 with 13. The Bucs lead 2009 with 13. The Falcons have the most in 2008 with 6.
  • The Seahawks and Rams don't have a player on their roster they acquired before 2007.
  • No team has more than 6 tenured players originally acquired from 1998-2008 still on their roster.
  • *Keep in mind that the Texans weren't founded until 2002.

METHOD CHART:

Here's a chart of the method current tenured roster players were originally acquired by their teams:

Team April Draft Undrafted FA Free Agent Trade Waiver/PS
Cardinals 33 28 28 2 0
Seahawks 36 24 22 4 4
49ers 39 25 21 2 4
Rams 25 42 17 0 7
Eagles 34 18 30 6 2
Cowboys 30 29 28 1 1
Giants 34 18 36 2 1
Redskins 33 14 41 2 3
Falcons 39 35 13 2 1
Panthers 30 24 26 4 8
Saints 23 27 35 1 3
Buccaneers 28 20 30 2 8
Bears 25 18 43 3 1
Lions 30 18 30 4 9
Packers 45 23 17 0 2
Vikings 39 24 23 2 1
Broncos 31 25 27 2 2
Chiefs 35 20 29 2 3
Raiders* 28 24 30 1 6
Chargers 29 32 25 1 3
Bills 30 19 32 1 7
Dolphins 31 26 24 0 8
Patriots 32 28 24 2 3
Jets 25 25 33 4 3
Texans 34 34 18 3 0
Colts 29 17 31 5 8
Jaguars 26 34 18 1 11
Titans 37 19 29 0 5
Ravens 40 29 20 1 0
Bengals 39 23 19 2 5
Browns* 30 27 24 3 4
Steelers 36 27 23 0 3

Eagles notes:

  • No one has acquired more players via trade than the Eagles with 6.
  • The Eagles are ranked on the lower end when it comes to UDFA signings and Waivers/Practice Squad additions.

General NFL notes:

  • *The Raiders drafted Terrelle Pryor and the Browns selected Josh Gordon in the NFL Supplemental Draft.
  • The Packers have a reputation for drafting well. Unsurprisingly they have the most players on their roster acquired via the April draft with 45. That's exactly half of their 90 man roster. The Saints only have 23.
  • St. Louis has the most undrafted free agents with 42. Colts have the least with 17.
  • The Falcons have only a league low 13 players that were acquired via free agency. The Bears have a league high at 43.
  • The Rams, Packers, Dolphins, Titans, and Steelers don't have a player on their roster they acquired via trade.
  • The Jaguars like to work the waiver wire & practice squad. They have the most waiver/PS players at 11. The Ravens, Texans, and Cardinals have 0. That seems to make sense for teams that are more competitive like Baltimore and Houston, but perhaps a not-so-good-team like Arizona should look into that option.

Bonus pie chart from the Eagles method numbers:

Methodpiechart_medium

Disclaimer: As you may realize, some of these numbers (see: undrafted free agents) may be currently inflated. These numbers are likely to change once the rosters get cut down to the final 53, so I'll revisit this exercise again then. For now, it's just an interesting activity. Once again, a big thanks goes out to Pro Football Rosters for making this data easily available.

Enjoy!

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