Bear with me just a minute. Traditionally, an NFL team was built primarily by the draft - trades and free agents were the finishing touches. While this has not changed, free agentry has tempted some to change that formula. The conventional wisdom is it would take about five years to build a team for worst to first. That changed with the two expansion teams the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers - they both had decent 1st seasons in 1996, and made it to the conference championship in their second season. This raised the expectation that is was realistic to rebuild a team in two years. While possible, it's the exception and not realistic. I'd go so far as to say many teams that make a sharp turnaround probably were not that bad the prior year - just had injury, poor coaching, etc. That initial success of the Panthers/Jaguars has enabled hand-on owners to expect very quick turnarounds if they can't sellout, or like Al Davis trying to win more championship before they die. It was an anomaly - not a trend.