The Seattle Seahawks have made it known that there is more than one way to win a championship. They built a roster fleshed out with undrafted players and late round prospects and turned themselves into one collective shoulder-chip all the way to the Super Bowl.
They're 'hawking that fact to the upcoming undrafted class as a reason for why they should choose to sign with Seattle over other pursuers and have released a memo for all those interested.
Patriots fans will note that Bill Belichick has a special place in his heart for undrafted players and that you can always expect one, or two, or more to make it to the final roster.
The Seahawks make a point to compare themselves to the rest of the league to show undrafted players that they have a chance to get into the spotlight and earn a spot, if not in Seattle then at least with another club. They show measurements for playtime in the preseason, how many undrafted players make the roster, how early draft picks are cut in favor of undrafted players, and how many cut players find a roster spot with a different franchise. Take a look; there are some cool numbers.
What we see is pretty promising for New England. They're the only franchise to offer undrafted players over 30% of available playtime in the preseason over the past two seasons, although Green Bay is the clear league leader (29.6% or more over the past four seasons). Dallas is a fair challenger for a spot in the top 3.
The Seahawks go further and split by offensive and defensive opportunities; the Patriots offer the 2nd highest percentage of time to undrafted offensive players at 26.4% over the past four seasons, behind only Green Bay's 29.9%. A chance to play with Tom Brady should be towards the top of every player's list.
The Patriots also feature the greatest chance to make the roster. While the team has signed just 58 undrafted players since 2010 (fourth fewest in the league; Giants , Washington , Panthers ), an astouding 28% of invites make the final roster (second to St. Louis [29%] where 29 out of 101 invites made the team.
Drafted players should feel fairly safe, too, with the Patriots cutting only one drafted player in their rookie season over the past two seasons combined. The Rams, Buccaneers, Cowboys, Changers, Cardinals, Titans, Ravens, and Jaguars match the Patriots with 1 release, while the Panthers and Falcons top the board with no released draftees.
You'll note that of that list, only the Ravens and the Patriots are consistent challengers, with the other teams in various forms of rebuilding. It's no question why those franchises are at the top.
The most interesting slide, to me, is the number of cut players who manage to sign with another team after being released (note that this is not restricted to undrafted players). The Seahawks set the mark with 28 over the past four seasons; the Patriots are second with 25.
The most astounding fact? 21 players who were released by the Patriots in their Super Bowl berthing 2011 season managed to sign with another roster. That team was stacked. That count of 21 would be 5th in the entire league over the span of four seasons, losing to the Seahawks, Patriots (duh), Texans, Eagles, and Packers. That's ludicrous.
When looking at undrafted players, only 3 former-Patriots managed to find a new club as a rookie. Probably because they tend to stick around in New England.
So if you're an undrafted player, or even just looking for a new roster, the Patriots are a pretty enticing landing spot. While Seattle is doing all the marketing, New England might still be the best place to land.