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Top Ten Moves on the First Day of 2015 NFL Free Agency

What Were the Biggest Moves in the NFL on March 10?

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“Whirlwind” is probably the best word for the first official day of the 2015-2016 NFL league year. I don’t remember this many moves and trades taking place one after the other in years. Jimmy Graham no longer a Saint? Check. Nick Foles traded away? Check. It certainly made for an exciting afternoon and evening. Today, we’re going to break down the top ten biggest moves that happened on March 10. 

 

Top Ten Moves on the First Day of 2015 NFL Free Agency

USA TODAY Sports

1. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t expecting TE Jimmy Graham and the New Orleans Saints to be completely unable to reach a deal after last year’s franchise tag debacle. Nonetheless, that’s what happened (and I’d wager the Seattle Seahawks are ecstatic about it). The ‘Hawks traded C Max Unger and their 31st overall first-round draft pick for Graham and a fourth-round pick. I can’t wait to see what Graham is able to do this season. 

 

2. After professing over (and over and over) again at the Combine that QB Sam Bradford was “the guy” for the St. Louis Rams, Jeff Fisher proved otherwise by trading him away for former Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles. Did not see this one coming. The interesting thing here is that Foles seemed to regress during the 2014 season; he wasn’t the playmaker we saw in 2013. The Rams are definitely freeing-up some cap space (Foles is due about $1.45 million to Bradford’s $12 million), but I’m intrigued to see how this trade actually works out in the long run. 

 

3. That said, I actually like the Foles/Bradford move a little bit better for the Philadelphia Eagles. Chip Kelly reportedly loves Bradford and I think the injury-plagued QB could manage to revitalize his career in Kelly’s quick offense. 

 

4. The Baltimore Ravens (who appear to be falling apart at the seams with all of the cuts they’ve made) traded NT Haloti Ngata to the Detroit Lions for fourth and fifth-round draft picks in 2015. Despite my snark, this wasn’t a bad move. Tim Jernigan is more than capable of taking over for Ngata and these draft picks may help the club bolster their faltering secondary or bring-in some new blood to help their receiving corps. 

 

5. The Detroit Lions are obviously scrambling to fill the hole left by Ndamukong Suh (we’ll get to that in a minute) and the addition of Ngata gives them another year to find a more permanent solution. It’s impossible to actually replace a player like Suh, but Ngata is solid guy who can adapt to whatever position the Lions end-up putting him at. 

 

6. Ndamukong Suh making his massive contract with the Miami Dolphins official is one of yesterday’s biggest pieces of news. However, we’ve already covered the Suh situation ad nauseum, so here it sits in the No. 6 spot. Congrats, though, ‘Fins fans. 

 

7. The Indianapolis Colts officially signed former San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore yesterday after Gore backed out of a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles (I know, drama abounds). Although Gore will be 32-years-old when the season starts, I think he’s got a few more years left in him and I think he could finally bring a power running game back to Naptown. I’m not upset about this move. 

 

8. Former Atlanta Falcons DT Corey Peters signed with the Arizona Cardinals yesterday. Peters will take over Dan Williams’s vacancy. Peters was a solid choice for this team; he played well in 2014 after recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and he has the ability to get to the QB (specifically ones named Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick, with any luck). 

 

9. The Cincinnati Bengals signed longtime Green Bay Packer AJ Hawk yesterday. This move makes a lot of sense for a team that has concerns at linebacker; Vontaze Burfict had micro-fracture surgery on his knee and may or may not return to being the player he once was. The only confusing thing about selecting Hawk is that he lacks speed, which is something the Bengals desperately need. 

 

10. The New York Giants (yes, they still exist, even though we haven’t talked about them much lately) signed RB Shane Vereen who was cut by the New England Patriots. Vereen was a valuable part of the Pats’ offense when he was on the field and I think Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo will utilize him well. 

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