In looking back at the Patriots success since 2012 and the turnover – or lack thereof – of the team's staff and players, ESPN's Mike Sando said there's a connection between continuity and winning. Sando wrote:
Winning in the NFL without continuity is tough, but achieving continuity without winning can be tougher.
Sando pointed out that New England is entering its sixth consecutive season with the same general manager, head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator and starting quarterback. He then assembled a "continuity rankings" list by comparing each team's staffing of the respective positions in the same time frame.
The Vikings ranked 10th on Sando's list. Since 2012, Minnesota has employed one general manager, two head coaches, three offensive coordinators, two defensive coordinators and three primary quarterbacks.
The Vikings had a chance to rank higher before a tumultuous 2016 season. Teddy Bridgewater's career-altering knee injury and Norv Turner's in-season resignation as offensive coordinator changed the outlook. The Vikings still rank among the league leaders in roster continuity. They've used 83 starters since 2012, second-fewest in the league. They rank fourth with 30 players making starts in three of the past five seasons. Minnesota also has had 13 players log at least 2,000 snaps since 2012 while remaining with the team last season. That ranked fifth behind Cincinnati (17), Dallas (16), Green Bay (15) and the Rams (15).
Coming in behind the Patriots and ahead of the Vikings were the Packers, Steelers, Seahawks, Panthers, Bengals, Cowboys, Saints and Ravens.
Rosenthal: Vikings unlikely to use franchise tag in 2017
NFL teams have a two-week window that opened Wednesday and lasts until March 1 to designate a franchise player or transition player.
The franchise tag designation is an optional one-year contract that prevents one player per team from hitting unrestricted free agency. According to NFL.com Around the NFL editor Gregg Rosenthal, 10 players were tagged last season, which is the most since 2012 when a whopping 21 teams used their franchise tags to retain players.
The Vikings have used the franchise tag only two times since the designation was established in 1993: on tight end Jim Kleinsasser (2003) and on linebacker Chad Greenway (2011).
Rosenthal said he doesn't expect Minnesota to use the franchise tag* *on anyone this offseason.
Rosenthal looked at each of the 32 teams, and he marked five players as "no-brainers" for receiving the franchise tag in the next 14 days: safety Eric Berry (Chiefs), Chandler Jones (Cardinals), Le'Veon Bell (Steelers), Kawann Short (Panthers) and Kirk Cousins (Redskins).