By and large, the majority of one NFL roster is indistinguishable from the next. There are 40 to 45 players that are pretty much the same from team to team. They’re talented, to be sure. But they aren’t difference makers.
The small group of players that fall into that category are the difference between franchises that are competing for championships and those who are looking up from the cellar. Every team has their “stars,” but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same.
How that select group is comprised makes all the difference in the world. If it’s a talented, motivated, inspired core of players, a team will be pretty good. If it’s a bunch of prima donnas, malcontents and troublemakers, a franchise will have trouble finding success.
Typically speaking, these stars are also the highest-paid players on the team. They’re the ones who have been signed to big contracts, as both a sign of their talent and a measure of the expectations bestowed upon them.
In a salary-cap sport like the NFL, who a franchise decides to put into this group is crucial. Typically, as much as 50 percent of a team’s cap space is allotted to the eight or 10 highest-paid players on the roster. As a result, everyone else is interchangeable; they’re a bunch of guys earning at or near the league minimums for their position and experience.
So if a team messes up and invests in the wrong players, it can be very difficult for them to overcome. Unless a breakout star emerges from the understudies, bad contracts will ultimately sink a franchise.
Not convinced? Take a look at last year’s Super Bowl participants.
To read on how the Broncos roster is shaping up, CLICK HERE