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On February 3rd, 2013, the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. The next day, I compared Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers to Vince Lombardi’s Packers, who also lost their first appearance in the NFL title game. San Francisco, which made it to the NFC Championship Game the year prior and would again the following season, seemed set up to emerge as one of the dominant teams of the ’10s.

But the amount of roster turnover experienced by the 49ers since February 3rd, 2013, is incredible. Just 2.5 years later, only seven of the 22 starters from that day are still on the San Francisco roster. And even that probably overstates things, as Colin Kaepernick’s career has taken a downward spiral, Vernon Davis may be on his last legs, NaVorro Bowman is a question mark after a brutal knee injury, and Aldon Smith makes more headlines these days off the football field than on it. Oh, and Ahmad Brooks may lose his starting job to Aaron Lynch.

Super Bowl XLXVIIProjected 2015
Colin KaepernickFuture questionable after two straight declining seasons
Frank GoreNow in Indianapolis; replaced by Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush
Michael CrabtreeNow in Oakland; replaced by Anquan Boldin
Randy MossRetired; replaced by Torrey Smith
Vernon DavisStill around, but end may be near after career-worst 2014
Delanie WalkerNow in Tennessee; replaced by Vance McDonald
Joe StaleyStill around!
Mike IupatiNow in Arizona; replaced by Brandon Thomas
Jonathan GoodwinNot currently on a roster; replaced by Marcus Martin
Alex BooneStill around!
Anthony DavisRetired; replaced by Erik Pears
Ray McDonaldReleased; replaced by Arik Armstead
Isaac SopoagaNot currently on a roster; replaced by Glenn Dorsey
Justin SmithRetired; replaced by Darnell Dockett
Ahmad BrooksStill around!
NaVorro BowmanMissed the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL/MCL
Patrick WillisRetired; replaced by Chris Borland (retired); replaced by Michael Wilhoite
Aldon SmithStill around; but missed 9 games due to league suspension in 2014
Carlos RogersNot currently on a roster; replaced by Chris Cook
Tarell BrownNot currently on a roster; replaced by Tramaine Brock
Donte WhitnerIn Cleveland; replaced by Antoine Bethea
Dashon GoldsonIn Washington; replaced by Eric Reid

Incredibly, the 49ers have lost Anthony Davis, Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, and Justin Smith to retirement in the last few months. The defense has been essentially turned over completely: only Bowman, Aldon Smith, and Brooks remain, and it’s not clear that any of those three will be long-term starters for the team. The offense is basically Kaepernick and a pair of offensive linemen. It’s a truly remarkable amount of turnover.

But it’s not an unprecedented amount of turnover. Consider:

The 49ers are unique, though, because this was a young roster that was expected to stay together for a long time, as opposed to the three teams above. As a point of reference, the table below lists all teams to make the Super Bowl prior to 2012, and how many players who started in that Super Bowl were still on the roster and were starters three years later:

YearTmOn TeamStartersWon/Lost
2011NYG53Won
2010GNB119Won
2009NOR1210Won
2008PIT1713Won
2007NYG129Won
2006IND1312Won
2005PIT1411Won
2004NWE1311Won
2003NWE119Won
2002TAM108Won
2001NWE107Won
2000BAL66Won
1999STL97Won
1998DEN87Won
1997DEN1211Won
1996GNB108Won
1995DAL1110Won
1994SFO1311Won
1993DAL1412Won
1992DAL1413Won
1991WAS75Won
1990NYG129Won
1989SFO1312Won
1988SFO1312Won
1987WAS129Won
1986NYG119Won
1985CHI1614Won
1984SFO147Won
1983RAI1313Won
1982WAS1513Won
1981SFO1715Won
1980OAK1313Won
1979PIT1313Won
1978PIT1711Won
1977DAL1614Won
1976OAK1311Won
1975PIT1514Won
1974PIT1814Won
1973MIA128Won
1972MIA1413Won
1971DAL1513Won
1970BAL65Won
1969KAN1515Won
1968NYJ1411Won
1967GNB119Won
1966GNB1514Won
2011NWE119Lost
2010PIT1210Lost
2009IND55Lost
2008ARI65Lost
2007NWE119Lost
2006CHI129Lost
2005SEA97Lost
2004PHI98Lost
2003CAR108Lost
2002OAK53Lost
2001STL109Lost
2000NYG1010Lost
1999TEN87Lost
1998ATL119Lost
1997GNB128Lost
1996NWE1310Lost
1995PIT77Lost
1994SDG76Lost
1993BUF109Lost
1992BUF98Lost
1991BUF109Lost
1990BUF1413Lost
1989DEN1513Lost
1988CIN1612Lost
1987DEN118Lost
1986DEN108Lost
1985NWE129Lost
1984MIA1512Lost
1983WAS1413Lost
1982MIA128Lost
1981CIN1313Lost
1980PHI1311Lost
1979RAM1512Lost
1978DAL1513Lost
1977DEN1713Lost
1976MIN1611Lost
1975DAL1611Lost
1974MIN1615Lost
1973MIN1614Lost
1972WAS1512Lost
1971MIA2018Lost
1970DAL1714Lost
1969MIN1913Lost
1968BAL1311Lost
1967OAK1513Lost
1966KAN1512Lost
Avg12.410.3

On average, about half of the starters are still around three years later for Super Bowl champions. San Francisco arguably isn’t that far off of that number, but given how promising the team’s outlook was 2.5 years ago, it’s incredible how quickly things have changed.

Oh, and if you sort the table above, you’ll see that the ’71 Dolphins still had an incredible 20 players still on the team in ’74, with 18 of them as starters. Only center Bob DeMarco and left defensive end Jim Riley were not on the team three years after Super Bowl VI, and they were replaced by Jim Langer (a HOFer) and Vern Den Herder (a 10-year starter), respectively. Tight end Marv Fleming and left tackle Doug Crusan were no longer starters but remained in the lineup. Given that backdrop, it’s no surprise that the Dolphins were by far the best team in the NFL from 1971 to 1975.