NFL Player Stats 2016
2016 NFL Season
The 2016 NFL season, the 97th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL), began on Thursday, September 8, 2016, with the defending Super Bowl 50 champion Denver Broncos defeating the Carolina Panthers 21–20 in the NFL Kickoff Game. The season will conclude with Super Bowl LI, the league’s championship game, on Sunday, February 5, 2017, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. For the first time since the Houston Oilers relocated to Tennessee in 1997,[note 1] an NFL team relocated to another state, as the former St. Louis Rams moved out of St. Louis, Missouri and returned to Los Angeles, its home from 1946 to 1994.
Player movements and retirements The 2016 NFL league year began on March 9, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. ET. On March 7 clubs started to contact and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who became unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2015 contracts two days later. On March 9, clubs exercised options for 2016 on players who have option clauses in their 2015 contracts, submitted qualifying offers to their restricted free agents with expiring contracts and to whom desire to retain a Right of Refusal/Compensation, submitted a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2015 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued season of free agent credit, and teams were required to be under the salary cap, using the “Top-51” definition (in which the 51 highest-paid players on the team’s payroll must have a collective salary cap hit below the actual cap). All 2015 players contracts expired and trading period for 2016 begin.
Free agency A total of 496 players were eligible for some form of free agency at the beginning of the free agency period. In addition, a number of highly paid players were released after the start of the league year to allow their teams to regain space under the salary cap. Among the high-profile players who changed teams via free agency were cornerbacks Josh Norman (from Panthers to Redskins), Janoris Jenkins (from Rams to Giants), Prince Amukamara (from Giants to Jaguars), Sean Smith (from Chiefs to Raiders) and Casey Hayward (from Packers to Chargers); safeties Eric Weddle (from Chargers to Ravens), Rodney McLeod (from Rams to Eagles) and Tashaun Gipson (from Browns to Jaguars); defensive ends Malik Jackson (from Broncos to Jaguars) and Olivier Vernon (from Dolphins to Giants); defensive tackles Damon Harrison (from Jets to Giants) and Brandon Mebane (from Seahawks to Chargers); linebackers Danny Trevathan (from Broncos to Bears), Demario Davis (from Jets to Browns) and Bruce Irvin (from Seahawks to Raiders); offensive tackles Mitchell Schwartz (from Browns to Chiefs), Donald Stephenson (from Chiefs to Broncos), Bobby Massie (from Cardinals to Bears) and Russell Okung (from Seahawks to Broncos); guards Kelechi Osemele (from Ravens to Raiders), J. R. Sweezy (from Seahawks to Buccaneers) and Alex Boone (from 49ers to Vikings); center Alex Mack (from Browns to Falcons); tight ends Benjamin Watson (from Saints to Ravens) and Coby Fleener (from Colts to Saints); wide receivers Rishard Matthews (from Dolphins to Titans) Travis Benjamin (from Browns to Chargers), Marvin Jones (from Bengals to Lions) and Mohamed Sanu (from Bengals to Falcons); running backs Lamar Miller (from Dolphins to Texans), Matt Forte (from Bears to Jets), Alfred Morris (from Redskins to Cowboys), and Chris Ivory (from Jets to Jaguars); and quarterbacks Brock Osweiler (from Broncos to Texans) and Robert Griffin III (from Redskins to Browns).
On March 9, the Philadelphia Eagles traded cornerback Byron Maxwell, linebacker Kiko Alonso, and a 2016 first-round draft pick to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a 2016 first-round draft pick.
On March 9, the Philadelphia Eagles traded running back DeMarco Murray along with a 2016 fourth-round draft pick to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for a 2016 fourth-round draft pick.
On March 11, the Philadelphia Eagles traded quarterback Mark Sanchez to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a conditional 2017 seventh-round draft pick.
On March 15, the New England Patriots traded Pro Bowl defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for guard Jonathan Cooper and a 2016 second-round draft pick.
On March 16, the Chicago Bears traded tight end Martellus Bennett along with a 2016 sixth-round draft pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for a 2016 fourth-round draft pick.
On April 9, the Denver Broncos traded offensive tackle Ryan Clady and a 2016 seventh-round draft pick to the New York Jets in exchange for a 2016 fifth-round draft pick.
On August 16, the Tennessee Titans traded wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for G/T Dennis Kelly.
On September 3, the Philadelphia Eagles traded quarterback Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings for a 2017 first-round draft pick and conditional 2018 fourth-round draft pick.
For more details on this topic, see 2016 NFL Draft.
The 2016 NFL Draft was held between April 28 − April 30, 2016 in Chicago. By way of a trade with the Tennessee Titans, the Los Angeles Rams held the first overall pick and selected QB Jared Goff.
Oakland Raiders’ defensive back Charles Woodson announced he would retire from professional football at the end of the 2015 season on December 21, 2015. He played eighteen seasons, starting with the Raiders for eight seasons and after spending seven with the Green Bay Packers, he returned to the Raiders for his final three seasons. He was the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the 2009 season and is tied with Rod Woodson and Darren Sharper for most career defensive touchdowns with 13.
Seattle Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch announced his retirement from professional football on February 7, 2016. Lynch played nine seasons, four with the Buffalo Bills and the final five with the Seahawks. Lynch was a five-time Pro Bowler, led the league in rushing touchdowns two seasons (2013–2014), co-led in total touchdowns one season (2014), and won a championship title with the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Carolina Panthers’ defensive end Jared Allen announced his retirement from professional football on February 18, 2016. Allen played twelve seasons, his first four with the Kansas City Chiefs, then six with the Minnesota Vikings, and spent his last two seasons with the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers. A five-time Pro Bowl and four-time All-Pro selection, Allen tallied 136 quarterback sacks during his career. In 2011, Allen had 22 sacks but fell 0.5 sacks short of the single season NFL record held by former New York Giants’ defensive end Michael Strahan.
Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning announced his retirement from professional football on March 7, 2016, exactly one month after the Broncos defeated the Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Manning played in the NFL for seventeen seasons — the first thirteen with the Indianapolis Colts (1998–2010), before missing the entire 2011 season due to recovery from neck surgery, then played the last four seasons of his career with the Denver Broncos (2012–2015). Manning appeared in four Super Bowls (two with Indianapolis, two with Denver) and won one with each team — Super Bowl XLI and Super Bowl 50.
Detroit Lions’ wide receiver Calvin Johnson announced his retirement from professional football, one day after Manning on March 8, 2016. Johnson played his entire nine-year career with the Lions, including six Pro Bowl selections and three First Team All-Pro selections. He also set a single-season record for receiving yards in 2012 with 1,964.
Carolina Panthers’ cornerback Charles Tillman announced his retirement from professional football on July 18, 2016. Tillman, nicknamed “Peanut”, spent the first twelve years of his NFL career with the Chicago Bears (2003–2014), before signing with the Panthers in 2015. Tillman was a two-time Pro Bowler, and forced 42 fumbles during his first twelve seasons, the most of any defensive back since the statistic was first recorded in 1984.
Miami Dolphins’ wide receiver Greg Jennings announced his retirement from professional football on July 25, 2016. Jennings spent his first seven seasons with the Packers and was a member of their 2010 championship team that won Super Bowl XLV. He then spent his remaining three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins, respectively. Jennings was a two-time Pro Bowler.
Miami Dolphins’ running back Arian Foster announced his retirement from professional football on October 25, 2016. Foster spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Houston Texans from 2009–2015, but played only four games with the Dolphins in 2016. Foster was plagued by injuries in the last two seasons of his career, including a ruptured Achilles tendon in 2015. Foster is the Texans’ franchise leader in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, rushing yards in a single season (a league-leading 1,616 in 2010), most rushing touchdowns in a single season and became the first player in NFL history to have 100+ rushing yards in his first three postseason games. Preseason Training camps for the 2016 season was held in late July through August. Teams started training camp no earlier than 15 days before the team’s first scheduled preseason game.
Prior to the start of the regular season, each team played four preseason exhibition games, beginning on Thursday, August 11 with a slate of seven locally televised games. The preseason schedule was originally to begin with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on the evening of Sunday, August 7, featuring the Green Bay Packers vs. the Indianapolis Colts, but the game was canceled due to uncertainty over the safety of Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium’s newly installed artificial turf. As in previous years, the canceled game would have featured teams with prominent alumni being inducted: Brett Favre for the Packers, and Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy for the Colts.
The 64-game preseason schedule wrapped up on Thursday, September 1, one week before the start of the regular season.
Regular season The 2016 regular season features 256 games to be played out over a seventeen-week schedule which began on Thursday, September 8, 2016. Each of the league’s 32 teams play a 16-game schedule, with one bye week for each team scheduled between weeks 4-13. The slate also features games on Monday night. There are games played on Thursday, including the National Football League Kickoff game in prime time on September 8 and games on Thanksgiving Day. The regular season will conclude with a full slate of 16 games on Sunday, January 1, 2017, all of which will be intra-divisional matchups, as it has been since 2010.
Under the NFL’s current scheduling formula, each team plays each of the other three teams in their own division twice. In addition, a team plays against all four teams in one other division from each conference. The final two games on a team’s schedule are against the two teams in the team’s own conference in the divisions the team was not set to play who finished the previous season in the same rank in their division (e.g. the team which finished first in its division the previous season would play each other team in their conference that also finished first in its respective division). The pre-set division pairings for 2016 will be as follows:
AFC North vs. AFC East
AFC South vs. AFC West
NFC North vs. NFC East
NFC South vs. NFC West
AFC East vs. NFC West
AFC North vs. NFC East
AFC South vs. NFC North
AFC West vs. NFC South
Highlights of the 2016 schedule include:
NFL Kickoff Game: The 2016 season began on Thursday, September 8, 2016, with a rematch of the previous Super Bowl. The defending Super Bowl 50 champions, the Denver Broncos, hosted the Carolina Panthers at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC. This was the first time since the Kickoff game was established that it was a rematch of the previous Super Bowl and the first such meeting of both Super Bowl participants during the first week of the next season since the 1970 season when the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs held a rematch of Super Bowl IV to kick off the new post-merger era of the National Football League. The Broncos debuted Trevor Siemian as their new starting quarterback; Siemian had been the Broncos’ third-string quarterback and ascended to the starting position after Peyton Manning, their starting quarterback for the 2012 through 2015 seasons, retired following Super Bowl 50, and second-stringer Brock Osweiler left as a free agent for the Houston Texans. The Broncos rallied from a ten-point deficit to win 21–20.
International Series: Four games were played internationally this season. Three of the games were played in London, England and the fourth was played in Mexico City, Mexico. The Jacksonville Jaguars played host to the Indianapolis Colts on October 2 at Wembley Stadium, marking the fourth of at least eight consecutive years in which the Jaguars will host a game in London; the previously winless Jaguars won, 30–27. On October 23, in the first-ever NFL game at Twickenham Stadium also in London, the Los Angeles Rams hosted the New York Giants, with the Giants winning 17–10. The Cincinnati Bengals played host to the Washington Redskins on October 30 at Wembley Stadium in London and the game became the first London game to both go into overtime and end in a tie, with the final score tied at 27. Finally, on Monday, November 21, the Oakland Raiders hosted the Houston Texans at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, in the first-ever Monday night game to be played outside of the United States and the second regular-season contest to be held in Mexico (the first being the 2005 Fútbol Americano contest), with the Raiders winning 27–20.
Thanksgiving Day games: As has been the case since 2006, three games were played on Thursday, November 24, 2016. The Detroit Lions hosted the Minnesota Vikings, the Dallas Cowboys hosted the Washington Redskins, and the evening game, featured teams from the AFC since 2013, featured the Indianapolis Colts hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Christmas Day games: Christmas Day, December 25, falls on a Sunday in 2016. When this occurs (most recently in 2011), the Sunday afternoon games are moved to Saturday, Christmas Eve. This year, two games will be shown nationally on Christmas Day — Ravens at Steelers at 4:30 p.m. EST on the NFL Network, and Broncos at Chiefs at 8:30 p.m. EST on NBC.
New Year’s Day Games: The NFL will play a full slate of 16 games on Sunday, January 1, 2017, to conclude the regular season. The College Football Playoff will play its semifinals on Saturday, December 31, 2016, while the other college bowl games traditionally move to Monday, January 2 when New Year’s Day occurs on a Sunday. In contrast, the National Hockey League, which traditionally holds its showcase Winter Classic on New Year’s Day afternoon but moved that contest to Monday in 2012, will not cede the afternoon to the NFL in 2017; that league has scheduled the Centennial Classic opposite the NFL’s regional games for January 1, in addition to the 2017 Winter Classic on January 2. Both host teams for the NHL outdoor games are in markets that do not have an NFL team: Toronto and St. Louis respectively.
The complete 2016 schedule was released Thursday, April 14, 2016.
In-season scheduling changes Week 8: The Packers–Falcons game, originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET, was switched to 4:25 p.m. ET in place of the originally-scheduled Cardinals–Panthers game, which was originally scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET (both games still on Fox). Week 12: The Chiefs–Broncos game, originally scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS, was flexed into the 8:30 p.m. ET slot on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, in place of the originally-scheduled Patriots–Jets game, which was moved to 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS. Week 14: The Saints–Buccaneers game, originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET, was switched to 4:25 p.m. ET, still on Fox. The Bears–Lions game was “cross-flexed” from Fox to CBS, still at 1:00 p.m. ET.