In the Younger, Cheaper NFL, Super Bowl Champs Get Cut, Too

January 31, 2019, 12:07 pm EST | Share:

By EDDIE PELLS (AP) – The soon-to-be Super Bowl champions, whether it be New England or Los Angeles, may be looking for new jobs very soon.

The inescapable trend of going younger and cheaper does not bypass the top teams in the league. In fact, it may help them stay as good as they are.

Over the past seven years, an Associated Press analysis of Super Bowl champions revealed that title teams loose an average of 20.4 players off their 53-man rosters from the Super Bowl to Week 1 of the next season(38.5-percent). On average, the new players had 1.8 fewer years of experience than the players they replaced.

The findings were in line with data analyzed by the AP that showed a steady trend downward in experience of all teams despite attempts in the 2006 and 2011 collective bargaining agreements to stem that tide. Average experience on opening-day rosters has dropped from 4.6 years to 4.3 since 2005.

“I mean, look, there’s a lot of turnover in the National Football League on every team in every year,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “It’s the National Football League. Teams turn over a lot of players and a lot of coaches every single year, every single team.”

No team does it with quite the high-profile effectiveness as the Patriots, who have collected five Super Bowl titles since 2002, and will be going for No. 6 on Sunday against the Rams.

New England’s five Super Bowl champions turned over an average of 19.2 players the season after they won their titles. The season after their 2015 win over the Seahawks, they brought in 24 new players — the biggest number among all the teams surveyed in this analysis.

How does all this turn out? Not very well, except for the Patriots. Of the past seven Super Bowl teams, none has repeated. Two have returned to the Super Bowl to lose. Two have lost in the playoffs. Three didn’t even make the playoffs.

The 2003-04 Patriots are the last team to repeat.

Belichick’s famously unsentimental view of rosters, and the players who fill them, has led to some of the most awkward, unpopular and sometimes downright messy break-ups in recent memory.

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