Retaining starters and free agent activity: Part 5

With the draft less than a week away, free agent signings have slowed considerably. There still plenty of unsigned free agents, but at this point it is likely that the vast majority willsign after teams see how they do in filling their needs in the draft.

DRAFTMETRICS has updated its tracking for all the signings as of Thursday morning. The status of the players who started the 11,264 NFL games is reflected in the following table.

About 25% (2661 starts) of 2012 games were started by players who became unrestricted free agents, were traded or were released. Players accounting for about 60% of those 2661 starts have signed with new teams. That still leaves a large number of experienced players available to sign in the free agent market. These numbers will continue to change right up until the start of training camp.

While far from perfect, one way DRAFTMETRICS has measured the experience level of teams is to track the 2012 games started by players on their current roster. This first table shows the number of 2012 games started by players retained by their 2012 team.

The maximum number of games is 352 (16 games times 22 starters). This table shows that the Redskins have the most experienced set of returnees, in the context of 2012 gamesstarted, with the Raiders bringing up the rear. This ignores or mitigates the impact of players who were injured in 2012, of
course, but it does give an indication of the level of experience. DRAFTMETRICS also considered the number of 2012 games started by all players on a team’s present 2013 roster. This includes players retained plus players signed as free agents. The Titans’ busy offseason leapfrogs them into first place with the Seahawks and 49ers remaining in second and third place, respectively. The Chargers and Raiders flip places at the bottom of the heap in this analysis.

The table on the following page presents a more complete picture by individual team. DRAFTMETRICS will periodically update this information as the offseason progresses.

Summary of Off-Season Team Building Activities by Team
All Information Represents 2012 Starts
April 18, 2013 Update

Tony is the founder of DRAFTMETRICS.COM can be e-mailed at and followed on Twitter @draftmetrics

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