NFL free agency doesn’t even officially start until this afternoon, but plenty of big moves are already in the works (or finalized, in some cases). This morning, we’re going to break down the top ten biggest moves of the free agency period so far.
1. Ndamukong Suh is (reportedly) going to inking a six-year, $114 million deal with the Miami Dolphins. This is big for a few reasons. For one thing, Suh’s presence will change the face of the ‘Fins defense (literally and figuratively). For another, this is a massive contract for a defensive player; it even eclipses J.J. Watt’s recent six-year, $100 million contract with the Houston Texans. Game changer? I’d say so.
2. WR Brandon Marshall has officially ended his tenure with the Chicago Bears and is off to the New York Jets. Now that the Jets have got a quality wideout, they could still stand to work on that whole QB situation…
3. WR Jeremy Maclin has elected to re-join his old coach Andy Reid at the Kansas City Chiefs. This is a blow to the Philadelphia Eagles, who really needed to re-sign their star receiver. Chip Kelly, however, seems undaunted and Reid is thrilled to be reunited with Maclin.
4. The Legion of Boom is one man down, with CB Byron Maxwell leaving the Seattle Seahawks for the Philadelphia Eagles. Philly made Maxwell the fourth highest paid CB in the league with the contract they offered him; he’s in good company with Patrick Peterson, Richard Sherman, and Joe Haden. Now we’ll just wait and see if he’s worth the money without the rest of Seattle’s secondary.
5. RB Frank Gore was apparently *this* close to inking a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles (who have already had an extremely busy off-season). Last night, however, Gore got cold feet and backed-out of the deal. The Indianapolis Colts are allegedly back in the running to land the veteran back. Oh, free agency…
6. WR Torrey Smith, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, is all but done inking a deal with the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners are likely to lose Michael Crabtree this off-season, so adding a legitimate threat like Smith is a smart move for the team.
7. The Baltimore Ravens aren’t in great shape at WR right now. In addition to losing Smith, former Raven Jacoby Jones is set to play for the San Diego Chargers, giving QB Philip Rivers a reliable target downfield, but leaving Joe Flacco in the lurch.
8. S Devin McCourty was allegedly very, very close to not being a New England Patriot come September. The Pats were able to get a deal done at the 11th hour, though, keeping McCourty on their roster. The best part? McCourty will count for just $6 million against the cap in 2015.
9. As nice as it would have been for the Denver Broncos to keep both TE Julius Thomas and WR Demaryius Thomas, it wasn’t meant to be. The former (that’s Julius, for those of you who aren’t paying attention) is set to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars, giving Blake Bortles a solid target for the first time in his NFL career.
10. The Broncos are also set to lose another piece of their offensive puzzle with lineman Orlando Franklin heading to the San Diego Chargers. Franklin is reportedly inking a five-year deal with the club, changing the Bolts’ sometimes unreliable line for the better.