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Crunching the numbers on NFC West rosters, Part One

NFL: SEP 29 Seahawks at Cardinals Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Author’s note: Coming as zero surprise (because Murphy’s Law is real!), mere hours after I submitted this article, the Seahawks released Tamorrion Terry. Thus, let me start by stating that this entire series is based on the NFC West rosters as they were on June 25th. Go Hawks!


We are officially in the slowest part of the NFL calendar and Mother Nature has made it demonstrably worse by giving the Seattle area the first back-to-back-to-back days with temperatures above 100 degrees.

For FTR, that combination meant a Seahawks T-shirt, a pair of shorts he wouldn’t be caught dead in, an ergonomic chair with electric fans surrounding it, a portable AC unit by the corner of his desk, and a literal wall of monitors with a computer keyboard and a wireless mouse in front of him.

What to do, what to do, what to do ... ?

...

A few days prior to the historic 100-degree streak, someone had posted a random comment on a random FG-thread and I, being me, had started doing some research to determine something or other, and then I’d gotten distracted by who knows what else, and by the time I came back to the research I had started, the thread had aged-out and, to be honest, I didn’t really remember which one it was, who had made the comment, or even what the comment itself actually was.

So what did I do? Well ... I quadrupled down.

The initial research project had involved me pulling various points of data for every player on the Seahawks 90 91-man roster and putting them into an Excel spreadsheet ... Name, position, whether they were drafted or undrafted, what year they entered the league, how many “accrued seasons” they had (versus how many years it had been since they entered the league), which team they originally signed with ... that sort of thing.

And even though I no longer remembered which thread or comment it was that had prompted my research, I had found some mildly interesting things in the data that I thought I could maybe run with at some point in time.

But at least 38 of the 91 players that were listed on my spreadsheet won’t be on the team a couple months from now and an offseason roster changes anyway. Thus, my data was time-locked and date-specific; June 25th, 2021 - to be exact.

Putting that another way, the work I had done up to that point wasn’t necessarily going to do me any good a few weeks from now ... at least not without updating the research.

So, having decided to quadruple down, I pulled the same data for the other three NFC West teams and started crunching some of the numbers to determine if the “mildly interesting” things I had found in the Seattle data were division-wide or team-specific.

As the temperature climbed, my spreadsheet grew and ... well ... now I feel like I have enough mildly interesting insights into the NFC West rosters to keep y’all entertained for an indeterminate amount of time.

I don’t know if this will end up being a 9-part series (which would make it the fourth one since I joined the FG staff in February), but I do know that it is going to be a bit different than anything I’ve done up to this point.

You: “Different? How different?”

FTR: “I’m glad you asked.”

...

Let’s start with the fact that I have already referred to myself in the 3rd-person multiple times - while also using the first-person pronoun “I” - and neither I nor FTR are going to edit any of that out.

...

More to the point though ... “Different” like how an anthology of short stories would revolve around a central theme whereas a chapter-based book (theoretically) uses each chapter to “build” on the one before it.

Some of the “short stories” in this “anthology” will be insightful.

Some will be funny (I hope).

Some will be mostly about the Seahawks while others might focus more on “the supporting cast” (aka our NFC West rivals) ... I definitely have a couple of “mildly interesting” things to share about the Rams that will raise a few eyebrows.

...

Whatever happens, and whatever y’all think about any individual story or the series as a whole ... hopefully I can at least offer a distraction from the heat and the boredom that accompanies the slowest part of the NFL calendar.

Go Hawks!



Seattle originals

Every player in the NFL has their own unique backstory - something that helped shape them or define them (or both) before they came into the league.

Some examples ...

Long before Marshawn Lynch gave us a quote for the ages, he celebrated a game-winning touchdown against our hometown Huskies in a very unique way.

Doug Baldwin ... Overlooked, underappreciated, undrafted ... At the Super Bowl, he told the national media that he didn’t have a chip on his shoulder; he had a boulder.

Dave ‘Mudbone’ Krieg - Signed by Seattle as “a favor” to his college coach ... out of teeny-tiny (now defunct) Milton College.

And Russell Wilson ... He called is college coach to talk about returning for his senior season and was told that they were going with Mike Glennon as the starter and that there wasn’t a spot for Wilson on the team ...

“Listen son, you’re never going to play in the National Football League. You’re too small. There’s no chance. You’ve got no shot. Give it up.

...

Three of those 4 players got their start in Seattle.

ADB. Mudbone. RW3.

They, and hundreds (thousands?) of players like them are what I am hereby deeming to be SEATTLE ORIGINALS.

Players who signed their first NFL contract with the Seahawks.

...

61.5% of the players on Seattle’s current roster are Seattle Originals ... 56 of the 91.

That seems like a pretty spectacular figure to me.

I mean, people talk all the time about how poorly Seattle drafts and how bad we are at developing players ....

And yet a simple calculation would show that we only have 35 players who started their NFL career with another team ... which means that if we cut the roster to 53 players tomorrow, at least 18 of them (34%) would be Seattle Originals.

That’s pretty cool.

Right?

The Rams have 67 Originals. (We’ll call them LAR-Os.)

Hmmm ....

There are so many (completely inappropriate) jokes that come to mind.

But this story isn’t about the Rams’ fear of outsiders - or about the Cardinals (42) and 49ers (47) reliance on them.

I am actually going to spin this a completely different way.

...

Five of Seattle’s 91 players got their NFL start with one of our division rivals.

  • One of them got his start with the Rams.
  • One with the Cardinals.
  • THREE started their professional careers with the 49ers.

I assume most 12s can name all 5 players but in case I’m wrong ....

  • TE Gerald Everett
  • DT Robert Nkemdiche
  • CB D.J. Reed, CB Ahkello Witherspoon, and DE Aldon Smith

...

The Seahawks could argue that they are the NFC West’s posterchild for inclusivity.

But are they?

What are the numbers like with our NFC West brethren?

  • The Niners match Seattle with 5 of their 91 players starting out with a division rival --- 4 of the 5 signed their first NFL contract in the desert; the other one was originally a Ram.
  • Arizona has two players that started their careers in San Francisco.
  • The Rams have one former-9er.

Add that up and you get ... 8 ... (5+2+1=8).

And if we add the 5 that Seattle has ... we’re at 13 for the division.

Thirteen out of 364 total players.

Slightly less than 3.6% of the combined NFC West rosters ...

...

Why in the name of Steve Niehaus am I starting a brand new series with this ... nonsense?

(Some of you have undoubtedly figured it out; I’m just toying with the rest.)

...

Let’s crunch the numbers a slightly different way ...

  • Six players that originally started their careers with the Niners are on non-SF NFCW rosters.
  • Five Cardinal Originals are on the rosters of Arizona’s rivals.
  • LAR-Os = 2 (one each in Seattle and Santa Clara).

6 + 5 + 2 = 13.

Thirteen out of 364 total players.

Slightly less than 3.6% of the combined NFC West rosters ...

...

Here comes the big finish ...

Ever heard (or read) someone saying that our NFC West rivals “hate” us?

I have just proven it.

(victory lap)

,,,

The 9ers, Cardinals and Rams have a combined total of 273 players on their rosters.

None of those 273 players are Seattle Originals.

0.0%.