Before yesterday rolled around the free agency market had already been fairly active with moves rumbling around like a dormant volcano.
We had seen the Philadelphia Eagles trade star running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso. Whilst some of the main men on the brink of free agency cut deals to remain in their current homes, such as Randall Cobb in Green Bay and Devin McCourty in New England.
However like a lot of dormant volcanoes, when they go off, THEY! GO! OFF!
And that is exactly what happened with the NFL on day one of free agency. There were massive trades that nobody seen coming and players signing on somewhere a rate of one a minute. The NFL Network presenter breaking the stories almost malfunctioned at one stage as the moves broke. And if all this madness wasn’t enough, we had a starting quarterback hang up his helmet as well.
It’s fair to say the NFL went a little crazy.
By Stephen Rhoden Jr – Lead NFL Writer – @SRhodenJr
Trades don’t often happen in the NFL and, even when they do, they are not normally much to write about. But that wasn’t the case yesterday. Here’s a quick look at the main moves:
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1. Russell Wilson Gets a Friend
The Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints struck a deal which saw all-star TE Jimmy Graham head to Seattle whilst the Seahawks sent centre Max Unger to New Orleans as well as swapping a couple of late round draft picks. This move is all about Jimmy G, the man has been a monster with Drew Brees and is exactly what Russell Wilson needs, a legitimate target that he can go to in all situations. For the Saints, in Max Unger, they get a fine centre who was a big presence in the Seattle O-line and former 1st round pick. The Saints have managed to get a high calibre starting centre that Brees will love to work with, whilst freeing up a ton of cap space by shopping Graham.
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2. Lions Attempt to Fill Void Left by Suh Departure
The Detroit Lions brought in Ravens DT Haloti Ngata for two mid-round picks in this year’s draft, an obvious bid to fill the gargantuan Ndamukong Suh-size hole that’s in their defensive line as the big man moved to Miami. For both teams this is a pretty good bit of business, Detroit get a player who can start and perform at a high level from day one whilst Baltimore get two useful picks and free up around $8.5 million in cap room. Baltimore had made efforts to keep Ngata in town, at a reduced price, but both sides could not get a deal done and it was clear that the offer and the demands were some distance apart.
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3. Rams and Eagles Confuse Everybody
The Philadelphia Eagles are cleaning house. Having already traded Shady McCoy to the Bills in a shocker last week and with news that last year’s No.1 receiver Jeremy Maclin was likely leaving town as the Eagles passed the option to franchise tag him, Philly decided to go the whole hog and trade QB Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams, in a move that shocked everybody.
They did however get Rams QB and former number one overall pick Sam Bradford in return, bringing his massive salary hit and chocolate knees with him. The trade featured a myriad of draft picks from future years which could be higher or lower depending on how Bradford pans out, based on if he can start eight games this season and avoid being re-injured. I would stick my house on his body breaking down again at some stage this year. It is Bradford we are talking about here. Though it is an interesting move for Philly, who have seen a drastic transformation in head coach Chip Kelly’s first two seasons, it does leave questions about whether or not Philly will make a move for Marcus Mariota in the draft.