Each week during the regular season every NFL team puts out a release for the media. It's filled with current stats, player data and other pertinent information. I bathe in this info for the broadcast.
All the releases have one page that's always interesting to check out – 'How the (insert team name here) were built.'
It highlights how many players on the roster were drafted and when and when each of the free agents were acquired. The bulk of virtually all the players on every team were picked up via draft or free agency in the last three seasons.
You've heard that the average length of an NFL career is between three and four years and that plays out on this page. Few players get that coveted fifth year deal with the team that drafted them. And you've read how many first round choices don't get the fifth year option picked up. Many of the players who aren't renewed by the teams that drafted them certainly get another shot in the league. And that's another reason why the majority of a roster flips every three years.
That's why this time of year is so important. If you have a subpar free agent and draft class it really sets you back. Unless you're totally loaded with good-to-great veterans at key spots you're really going to be putting even more pressure to get the next offseason right and to fill in through free agency.
This makes it 'General Manger season.' We've heard from David Culley a few times. He and the new staff have undoubtedly been helpful in player evaluation of the current roster and weighing in on who might be available in free agency. But Nick Caserio, with his personnel crew, is controlling the player harvest at this crucial time of year. It's his maiden voyage as the top man in charge and he's already made some key moves.
The Texans roster has seen some projected changes prior to the legal negotiating window we're in now. And this week, Caserio's phone will need to be recharged often as he fields and makes calls to help the team. The league year begins Wednesday, but the negotiations are underway. This is like gathering in Times Square two days prior to watching the ball drop.
The NFL 'hot stove' is on. There's nothing quite like it. Excuse me while I go plug my phone back in.