Please take some time to check out the accompanying spreadsheet. Make sure you go back and check out part one and part two of my series on the Packers Model for roster building if you haven't yet seen them, as they provide a bit of a base for what follows.
Now, a little reminder on why I do this: as I have been reading and building these models, fertile ideas have been flying all over the place. Why am I studying another franchise? Why have I purchased books on the Pittsburgh Steelers and plan on purchasing books on the Baltimore Ravens and other franchises? Why have I downloaded articles and studied the Green Bay roster on www.packers.com? Why?
Simply because I want my team, the Seattle Seahawks, to win a Super Bowl.
So, I figure I should study teams that have won and have a good chance of winning multiple Super Bowls. And I believe these franchises are not satisfied with winning just winning one, but expect to be in position year after year to compete for a Super Bowl.
I believe that is Paul Allen's goal, and I believe that is why Pete Carroll and John Schneider are here in Seattle. This triumvate wants to build a perennial winner.
For this series, I've been paying close attention to how Ted Thompson structures his rosters in Green Bay because it's plausible, maybe probable - based on interviews and a little bit of logic based on his history there, that John Schneider brings big parts of that model here to Seattle.
Here are some of the observations that jumped out at me, and again, make sure you check out the attached spreadsheet:
1) The 35 or so players on their Cheap Rookie Contracts create the cap room to pay the 18 or so Green Bay Stars. Most NFL teams have less than 35 players on rookie contracts, and are littered with over 20+ average players on their 2nd (big money) contract.
2) There are only five players on the 53-man roster older than Aaron Rodgers (and he is not considered old) - Charles Woodson, Donald Driver, Chad Clifton, Ryan Pickett, Scott Wells. Pete Carroll wants a young team with a QB that has some seasoning.
3) Of the 18 players on big money-non rookie contracts, 11 have been selected to a Pro Bowl: Charles Woodson,Donald Driver, Chad Clifton, Scott Wells, Aaron Rodgers, Nick Collins, Ryan Grant, A.J. Hawk, Greg Jennings, Tramon Williams, and John Kuhn. Some experts say Jordy Nelson is right on the verge. Only the key players get rewarded with big dollars. There are some modest deals- for instance- James Jones and John Kuhn (fullback). Charlie Peprah was a value deal.
5) The only Class of 2008 player that Green Bay needs to worry about signing is Jermichael Finley- they already tied up Jordy Nelson and Josh Sitton previously. To clear cap room they might have to retire Clifton and Driver. Grant is probably gone after this year.
6) Only 10 players on the 53 man roster were ever signed to another team not named the Packers, and only three players played significant regular season snaps for another team- Pickett, Woodson and Erik Walden.
Walden is probably gone after the 2012 Draft.
7) I am amazed that 10 players on the current 53 were Undrafted Rookies from the 2010 and 2011 class.
8) 25 players are in their 1st or 2nd year in the NFL. This explains why Green Bay is the 4th youngest team in the NFL.
9) In Ted Thompson's 2nd Year (2006) he signed two big Free Agents (Woodson and Pickett) and snagged three key 2011 players that still play for him off of waivers (Tramon Williams, Jarrett Bush (who I hear is a big-time special teams player), Charlie Peprah (who has filled in for safety depth with Nick Collins on IR). He also drafted AJ Hawk and Greg Jennings. It was a good year.
10) In 2007 Thompson grabbed Ryan Grant in a trade with NYG and pulled John Kuhn off off waivers from PIT.
11) Ted Thompson has NEVER drafted less than 7 players whether the team was 6-10 or coming off a Super Bowl- he believes in drafting often and also is very willing to play Undrafted Rookies. Look for the Seahawks to draft at least 7-8 in 2012. And pay attention to the Undrafted Rookies they sign.
12) In recent years, Green Bay doesn't pick a lot of players off waivers like they did in 2006 and 2007- probably because most of the Undrafted Rookies they like sign with them already. Why? Because they are a very good team and rookies know they have a good shot of making the team. This is because Green Bay takes rookie free agency seriously, these are not just training camp bodies.
More to come soon, where I'll tie some of these observations and ideas together.