How Your Favorite NFL Team's 53 Man Roster was Assembled

USA TODAY Sports

A look at how every NFL 53 man roster was assembled by year and method.

Back in July I put a post together entitled "How Your Favorite NFL Team's 90 Man Roster was Assembled". It was a worthwhile activity because it resulted in some interesting nuggets.

I stated I would revisit this activity again once the NFL teams cut their rosters down to 53. I waited until after Week 1 of the NFL to chart this data because of the vested veteran rule. NFL rosters are generally more settled after the first week.

Let's jump right into the new data. Table columns are sortable if you click the top row.

YEAR CHART:

Team 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Total*
Cardinals 2 2 1 2 7 7 10 29 60
Seahawks 1 2 1 11 15 12 20 62
49ers 1 1 1 4 2 2 8 12 7 29 67
Rams 1 1 5 9 22 20 58
Eagles 2 2 1 1 4 6 6 12 24 58
Cowboys 2 3 2 2 1 6 8 16 18 58
Giants 1 2 2 1 2 1 3 5 12 11 18 58
Redskins 1 2 1 4 2 7 17 17 13 64
Falcons 2 3 5 6 6 7 14 15 58
Panthers 1 1 1 1 3 2 4 4 9 14 21 61
Saints 1 1 5 1 2 3 9 8 13 17 60
Buccaneers 3 1 1 3 5 9 13 26 61
Bears 1 2 2 1 3 2 4 5 16 21 57
Lions 1 1 1 6 10 5 9 23 56
Packers 1 5 3 4 5 10 6 12 15 61
Vikings 1 1 1 3 4 2 5 11 18 12 58
Broncos 1 1 1 2 4 7 11 16 19 62
Chiefs 2 1 1 4 2 6 3 6 33 58
Raiders 1 1 3 1 3 6 16 29 60
Chargers 2 3 1 1 1 5 8 14 26 61
Bills 2 2 3 9 9 12 22 59
Dolphins 1 2 2 3 6 9 13 19 55
Patriots 1 1 1 1 1 3 4 4 6 13 30 65
Jets 2 1 1 2 7 11 14 21 59
Texans 1 1 1 2 5 7 12 13 19 61
Colts 1 1 2 3 5 3 23 23 61
Jaguars 1 1 3 1 2 1 8 12 28 57
Titans 3 2 2 4 5 8 11 22 57
Ravens 1 2 1 3 2 6 10 16 20 61
Bengals 1 2 2 2 6 11 9 16 13 62
Browns 1 1 1 1 4 11 12 28 59
Steelers 1 2 1 2 1 2 5 8 7 11 22 62

Observations:

• The Chiefs have the most players acquired in 2013 with 33. The Vikings have the least with 12.

• The only team to not have a player on their roster acquired in 2009 is the Dallas Cowboys. From 2010-2013, every NFL team has at least one player acquired in each of those years.

• The 49ers have 67 players under team control. 14 of them are exempt from counting against the 53 man roster for now. The Dolphins only have 55.

METHOD CHART:

Team Draft Undrafted FA Free Agent Trade Waiver/PS Total*
Cardinals 27 8 21 2 2 60
Seahawks 29 8 18 4 3 62
49ers 31 11 20 3 2 67
Rams 23 17 15 3 58
Eagles 28 7 16 5 2 58
Cowboys 26 13 15 3 1 58
Giants 28 8 19 2 1 58
Redskins 30 3 26 2 3 64
Falcons 37 9 10 2 58
Panthers 26 9 20 4 2 61
Saints 20 15 22 2 1 60
Buccaneers 25 5 25 3 3 61
Bears 22 6 24 4 1 57
Lions 24 4 21 4 3 56
Packers 38 10 11 2 61
Vikings 34 8 13 2 1 58
Broncos 27 7 23 2 3 62
Chiefs 29 4 13 3 9 58
Raiders 25 7 22 1 5 60
Chargers 26 8 21 2 4 61
Bills 27 5 19 1 7 59
Dolphins 29 5 15 6 55
Patriots 29 14 16 2 4 65
Jets 22 6 23 4 4 59
Texans 31 16 12 2 61
Colts 22 6 23 7 3 61
Jaguars 23 8 12 1 13 57
Titans 31 4 20 2 57
Ravens 35 8 17 1 61
Bengals 33 9 14 2 4 62
Browns 25 8 13 3 10 59
Steelers 31 9 17 1 4 62

Observations:

• The Packers have the most amount of players acquired through the draft at 38. The Saints have the least at 20.

• The Rams have the most undrafted free agents with 17. Lowest: Redskins with 3.

• Most free agents: Redskins with 26. Least: Falcons with 10.

• Most players acquired via trade: Colts with 7 (Eagles are second at 5). Least: four-way tie between Packers/Dolphins/Rams/Titans with 0.

• Most players acquired via Waiver/PS: Jaguars with 13. Least: three-way tie between Ravens/Falcons/Texans with 0.

Bonus Eagles pie chart (method) 53 man roster:

Compare this to the pie chart from the Eagles 90 man roster, and you will see some differences. Undrafted FA and Free Agent categories are down while the Draft is up.

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Chart note: while teams are only allowed to have 53 players on their active roster, some are placed on special lists such as Injured Reserve, Non-Football Injury, Suspension, etc. This is why the total row is higher than 53.

Once again, a big thanks goes out to Pro Football Rosters for making this data easily available.

Enjoy!

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