I’ve been glued to the NFL for a very long time. Not only have I actively involved myself in the draft and free agency since before I needed to shave I’ve also looked back on the history happenings of the league for perspective. So I can say, without any doubt in my head, that this has been the craziest free-agency period in the history of the NFL, and it’s not even over yet.
Huge signings and enormous contracts are always a part of the deal, so the Demaryius Thomas signing in Jacksonville, and even Darrelle Revis re-signing in New York were to be somewhat expected. But the Tyrannosaurus sized trades and irrational retirements have caught me completely off guard. Jimmy Graham is arguable the best tight end in football, how on earth do the New Orleans Saints trade him for anything less than Richard Sherman? Sam Bradford hasn’t played a full season in the NFL since 2012, and while Nick Foles has his detractors an even swap makes zero sense if you’re Chip Kelly and the Eagles. Patrick Willis, Jake Locker and Jason Worilds all retiring? Willis and Locker at least are arguable on the slight portion of the downhill incline that could be their entire careers in the NFL. Worilds is a rising superstar and is on 27-years-old. I don’t know what the world holds for the other two guys but for Worilds he’s walking away from at least $15 million in guaranteed money. Best guess for his value on the open market was $8 or so million a season for at least 4 years with roughly half of it a lock.
Even with all this there are still big names out there and apparently crazy moves left to make. There have been rumblings that DeMarco Murray is headed to Philadelphia but has not yet formally signed a deal with anyone, nor has Reggie Wayne or Greg Hardy. The Adrian Peterson situation has yet to be resolved in Minnesota and given the trades I saw on day one, I can only imagine what else could happen in the coming days, weeks, or even months in the lead up to training camp.
The Ravens parted ways with Haloti Ngata (trading him to the Detroit Lions) and released veteran defensive lineman Chris Canty. I don’t know how you have a top tier defence and then get rid of a pair of your best interior defensive linemen and expect to improve on things?
The one clear message out of the free agency period this off-season is that there are no rules when it comes to what makes sense for a player, a team, a coach, or a league. The league is investing multiple contract leaks that appeared prior to the official start of free agency. LeSean McCoy apparently contacted Frank Gore and made mention of some of the offensive plans for the 2015 season, prompting Gore to decide to sign with the Indianapolis Colts, instead of the Philadelphia Eagles. I have to imagine there will be some form of discipline for that.
As Terrell Owens used to say “get cha popcorn ready” because this show has just started.