We know that there are going to be a lot of players that Minnesota Vikings fans got familiar with over the past few years in different locations in 2017. How do the Vikings rank in terms of roster turnover compared to the rest of the league? Well, according to one source, there weren’t that many teams that saw a greater loss of player snaps. . .and high-quality ones, at that. . .than the Vikings did.
The folks from Over the Cap made an attempt to define exactly how much each NFL team lost this offseason. Here’s the formula that OTC writer Jason Fitzgerald used to make his determination:
To get a better idea I wanted to score each team in 4 categories. The first category is the percentage of total snaps lost which every simply looks at how many snaps that were on the end of the 2016 rosters are no longer on the team in 2017. The second category looks at the quality of snaps lost. What this entails is the amount of players who were lost that are actually on other rosters in 2017. While we often are disappointed when teams fail to re-sign free agents or cut the players for whatever reasons, many times the rest of the league doesn’t view those players of even contributing to a team. We pull those out to better identify the important players who were dropped. Likewise special teams do play a role so we are also looking at the percent of snaps lost on specials. Finally to get the best idea of how good or bad the players were who were lost we turn towards a market value. The average APY lost is the dollars per player being spent by the rest of the NFL on the quality players still good enough to land in the NFL. Averaging those scores out we come to a final ranking in which a higher score indicated the least change and low score indicates important changes.
Based on Fitzgerald’s formula, the Vikings come in at #8 in the National Football League, meaning that only seven other teams saw more roster turnover and loss of quality players than the Vikings have since last season ended. Of the seven teams that experienced more of a change than the Vikings, only one. . .the Dallas Cowboys. . .made the playoffs last season.
Here is Fitzgerald’s commentary on the Vikings’ roster changes:
The Vikings saw a number of players that are viewed as quality mid tier guys, and one top level player, be signed in free agency. For the Vikings the mix wasn’t really working so this may be a situation where players like Matt Kalil, Rhett Ellison, Captain Munnerlynn, and Cordarelle Patterson can help teams get over the hump more than they could collectively in Minnesota. The team spent money so its not like money was an issue, though the contracts that they did sign were questionable. They will hope it’s a better mix.
Now, I’m not totally sure who Fitzgerald has ranked in what categories, as far as “mid tier” and “top level” players are concerned. In my opinion, Captain Munnerlyn has the potential to be the most significant loss that the Vikings suffered this offseason, depending on the development of Mackensie Alexander, so I guess he could be a top tier sort of guy as a nickel corner. If he’s rating Adrian Peterson as a top tier guy at this point. . .well, I’m not going to get into that argument here. I’ll just say “I disagree.”
Some of the other players that the Vikings lost:
Matt Kalil - Only played in two games in 2016 and has been on a steady downward slide since 2012.
Cordarrelle Patterson - The best kick returner in the NFL right now, but after a couple years in the doghouse, who knows if he really wanted to come back to Minnesota.
Rhett Ellison - Solid player, not indispensable.
Brandon Fusco and Andre Smith - Yawn goes here.
And there were other players as well. Again, I’m not sure what the grading curve looks like as far as this is concerned, but I just don’t see the sort of huge losses in personnel and quality snaps that Fitzgerald does at this point. I mean, sure, the Vikings lost more free agents than they signed, but the guys they brought in are significantly better, as far as I can see.
Again, as we’re getting closer to the start of the season, this is something to look at and see whether or not it will really mean anything in the long run.