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2007 vs. 2011 NFL Season: Who Remains on Patriots, Giants, and Browns' Rosters?

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It's no secret that teams often undergo drastic roster changes in just a couple of years, especially when you have a lot of head coaching changes like the Cleveland Browns do. This Sunday, the Patriots take on the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. These two teams last met in the Super Bowl four years ago during the 2007-2008 regular season. After the jump is a list of players who were on both the 2007-2008 and 2011-2012 teams. I've also included the list of Browns players who have survived during the chopping block during that span (hint: it's not very many).

Note: the lists below include players who may have finished the 2007 or 2011 seasons on injured reserve, indicated by an *.

New England Patriots - On Both 2007 and 2011 Teams

QB Tom Brady
RB Kevin Faulk
WR Wes Welker
LT Matt Light
LG Logan Mankins
C Dan Koppen*
NT Vince Wilfork
K Stephen Gostkowski

As you'll end up seeing, the Patriots have much less returning players than the Giants do. Bill Belichick is always known for having a Patriots team that can plug in random guys at certain positions, though. For example: see what they have done in the postseason with Julian Edelman. They also have managed to keep some top contributors, including their franchise quarterback, one of the game's top possession receivers, the left side anchors of their offensive line, their kicker, and their big body up front in Wilfork.

New York Giants - On Both 2007 and 2011 Teams

QB Eli Manning
RB Brandon Jacobs
RB Ahmad Bradshaw
RB D.J. Ware
WR Dominik Hixon*
LT David Diehl
LG Kevin Boothe
RG Chris Snee
RT Kareem McKenzie
DE Osi Umenyiora
DE Justin Tuck
DE Dave Tollefson
LB Chase Blackburn
LB Mathias Kiwanuka
CB Aaron Ross
CB Corey Webster
K Lawrence Tynes

Whoa, that is a lot of players (17 in total). No wonder this Giants team "feels" so similar to the team that won it all four years ago. The difference you see with the Giants is the depth that has been promoted to the starting lineup, such as Blackburn and Boothe. When they've had a guy like Hixon go out, a Victor Cruz has responded to the call.

Cleveland Browns - On Both 2007 and 2011 Teams

WR Joshua Cribbs
LT Joe Thomas
LG Eric Steinbach
LB D’Qwell Jackson
S Mike Adams
K Phil Dawson

The Browns will have to make decisions on 3-4 of these guys soon. This isn't a bad core to have around, and it actually looks kind of similar to the Patriots' list with some minor tweaks (Cribbs = Faulk, Jackson = Wilfork; not literally, but in terms of general role player and defensive leader, respectively). The big difference? The Browns are missing a quarterback on their list.