By: Ethan Tyrrell, KCOU Sports
4 p.m. last Tuesday signaled the opening of the floodgates, the start of the NFL free agency period. And it was chaotic. Some of the biggest names in the league immediately traded jerseys. Some teams won more than others, but these are the biggest moves from the first week of free agency.
As they seem to do nearly every time they step foot on the field, the Seattle Seahawks had a big win on Tuesday. In one of the best signings from the week, the Seahawks signed Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham. Graham has been one of the best at his position since he came into the league in 2010. If the Seahawks were ever in need of a crucial pass, say, in the final moments of certain big game, Graham will be able to make a play. Better yet, they could just hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch. They signed an extension for him too.
The New York Jets already moved in the right direction when the signed former Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles as head coach. This past week, they made several moves that might give fans some optimism. They reunited the old band and signed veteran cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Their offense too got a huge boost with the addition of wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Obviously, several questions continue to hover over the Jets. Their choice at quarterback is currently Geno Smith, but a team that finished with just 4 wins in 2014 is looking up after a week of free agent deals.
Youth was not the Indianapolis Colts’ agenda when they signed running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Andre Johnson. They may only have the two Pro Bowlers for a few seasons, but these two signings will add some power to the Andrew Luck-led offense. At 33 years of age, Andre Johnson may be on the downward end of his career, but he could still be a big target for Luck.
Whether or not Chip Kelly and the Eagles made smart decisions last week is a whole different conversation, but they undeniably were involved in some of the biggest moves of the week. The good news for Philadelphia fans is that the Eagles struck free agency gold with the acquisition of DeMarco Murray. Murray was a huge component of the Cowboy’s success in 2014, and there’s no reason to believe his dominant rushing will stop now. That was a good move. Most people can agree with that. What is a little more controversial is every other major move Chip Kelly made. LeSean McCoy did not have the 2014 season that everyone (especially fantasy owners) thought he would have. Even so, McCoy is probably still one of the best running backs in the league. That’s why the trade that sent McCoy to Buffalo is so strange. Yes, the Eagles got Kiko Alonso in return, but the trade is still questionable. Oh, and then there’s the bizarre quarterback swap between Philadelphia and St. Louis. There was time before the 2014 season when Nick Foles might be the quarterback of the future. Chip Kelly must’ve given up on this idea, because he traded Foles for Sam Bradford. There may be some method to this madness, but it’s hidden somewhere under a pile of questions.
The first week of NFL free agency was pure chaos. The fun isn’t even over yet. Greg Jennings was recently released from the Vikings. Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree is still available. Possibly the most interesting of all remaining free agents, former Patriot Vince Wilfork is still on the market. Hopefully, these free agents lead to an equally as interesting second week of free agency.