In the “Player Safety” era, players aren’t playing as long and rosters churn mightily

It may seem strange but in the era of increased player safety, the average career of an NFL player is now only 3 seasons which is down an avg of two years since 2000. Byron Jones’ announced retirement at age 30 at the height of his earning power is a reminder that these NFL players are gladiators who are paid well but aren’t lasting as long as their predecessors of the last 30 years. And the roster churn that happens every off-season means more than 40% of the roster we had in Dallas in 2022 won’t be here next year.

Modern NFL players are not playing as long as the past. Look at the evidence by decade:

  • In the 1990s, there were 83 players who appeared in 150 or more games.
  • From 2000-09, that number dropped to 63.
  • From 2010-19, it was down to 37.

And…NFL rosters churn quite a bit every year. NFL rosters are extremely unstable. On average only 56% of players return to the same team from one year to the next and two years out it is just around 35%. That means each year the average NFL team will keep a little more than half of their players on their active roster.

So which Cowboys players will be the more than 40% of the roster we say goodbye to this year?

Here’s a link to an article by I read by over the from 2020 that has some of the info I shared here.

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