Its funny how back in the Shula days a player was a player for life. Sure,
a lot of it had to do with the makeup of the NFL, and the pre-free-agency
era. And there were always exceptions (see jake Scott, who's still p-o-ed
at Shula for trading him). But, you knew who you had on the team, and there
wasn't a lot of turnover from year-to-year.
Then came the JJ / Dave epoch, and and there was more turnover, but there
were still core players year after year. We had Madison and Sertain. We
had Zach. Heck, even Fiedler was the QB you knew would be around.
And meanwhile, Bellicick was running a different model in New England. Its
all about a scheme and finding players that fit the scheme. You have a very
small number of core players, but even they seem expendable to some degree.
...And now under Nick, you have the same sort of thing. Chambers, Zach, and
Jason are the only true holdovers who you might call core players. And
Daunte will probably become one. But, otherwise, there's some churning.
One guy leaves, another guy steps in. Sometimes, you don't know the starter
or his immediate backup, because they turned over.
I find it interesting how it has evolved.