2008 Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions Provide Case Study in Roster Turnover


Roster turnover is a way of life in the NFL of today. It was obvious the Lions needed a complete overhaul after completing the league’s first 0-16 season in 2008. They have pretty much accomplished that by now, although they aren’t the only team that has done the same.

This tweet from Denver Broncos beat writer Lindsay Jones caught my eye yesterday.

Only five guys left from my 1st year on the beat, 2008. RT @Ted_Sundquist: … Not much patience in Dove Valley at times.

It isn’t like the 2008 Broncos were a horrible team, certainly no where near the pathetic level of the 2008 Lions. They finished with an 8-8 record but just missed out on the playoffs after losing the tie-breaker to the San Diego Chargers.

So, if the Broncos have just five players left from their 2008 squad surely the Lions would have fewer. Not so.

I count 12: Drew Stanton, Calvin Johnson, Jerome Felton, Jeff Backus, Dominic Raiola, Stephen Peterman, Gosder Cherilus, Jason Hanson, Nick Harris, Cliff Avril, Andre Fluellen and Don Muhlbach.

What does it mean? Not much, if anything considering the Lions are probably closer to reaching the playoffs at this point than the Broncos. It does go to show the transient nature of all NFL rosters – not just the very worst. The pace of the turnover may slow as the Lions reach a more stable condition but it will never stop, the Eagles and Patriots are examples of that, but the excitement surrounding it will continue to increase.

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Tags: Denver Broncos Detroit Lions