Legendary start to the 2015 NFL Free Agency

Frank Passalacqua, Opinion Editor

Every single year, I wait for 4 p.m to strike on the first day of free agency. Every year, 4 p.m comes and goes without a single thing happening. Every year, I am met with disappointment at the anticlimactic event.

This 2015 Free Agency, however, was one for the books.

Never could I think of a single day where so many signings and trades kicked off the official start of the offseason.

First, about a week prior, breaking news emerged that the Philadelphia Eagles would trade star running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso. Social media exploded, and so did I. A few days later, the Eagles reported they would not be resigning wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Again, social media exploded with people all around the world asking, “What is Chip Kelly doing?!”

At the start of free agency, Chip made one more move to puzzle the minds of the world.

The Philadelphia Eagles traded quarterback Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams for Sam Bradford. Minds exploded.

People took to social media, mainly bandwagon Dallas Cowboy fans, and used this as an opportunity to live it up.

“I don’t know what Chip Kelly is doing, but I love it!” was the most common comment on every thread and wall post, but what would happen a few days later would be something they did not particularly love. Since the Dallas Cowboys continued to low-ball the leagues leading rusher Demarco Murray, he took his talents to Philly to join Sam Bradford, Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles in the backfield.

Naturally, sulking in remorse and pain, Cowboys fans claimed Murray “wasn’t even good” in an effort to make the situation lighter in their cold hearts.

It is safe to say Chip Kelly and the Eagles made the biggest splash thus far. It should also be noted that Seahawk’s cornerback Byron Maxwell joined the Eagles as well, in a move to upgrade their secondary.

Enough with the Eagles, let’s talk about the other big moves in free agency.

4 p.m also was met with another huge trade. The New Orleans Saints traded Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for center Max Unger, with the Seahawks also throwing in a first round pick in this year’s draft.

The trade sent the star tight end to a team who made it to two consecutive Super Bowls, going 1-1 after losing last year to the Patriots. I’ve never thought highly of Russell Wilson, but now that he has a huge target, I expect the Seahawks to do some work in the NFC.

Ndamukong Suh signed a massive deal with the Miami Dolphins, worth $114 million dollars. Suh taking the big bucks over a contender team proves he would rather have money than a shot at the playoffs.

Darrelle “Old Man” Revis would not stay in Super Bowl winning New England, as the Patriots declined to pick up the option. Revis would decide to return home to New York, bringing a tiny glimmer of hope to the two Jets fans in the world. Antonio Cromartie also decided to return home to the Jets, rejoining Revis and his squad for the first time since 2011.

The Jets also brought in Ryan Fitzpatrick in an attempt to give Geno “Turnover” Smith some competition, but it is hard to see them competing in the AFC East with those options at QB.

Orange Julius is no more, he is now in Jacksonville. Peyton Manning’s former favorite tight end in Denver has signed with the Jaguars for a 5-year deal. Blake Bortles will now have a legitimate weapon on Sunday’s.

In a speed round of signings, Brandon Marshall joined the Jets, Greg Hardy signed with the Dallas Cowboys, Percy Harvin and Charles Clay signed with Buffalo , Jeremy Maclin is now a Chief, Nick Fairley joins all former first-round picks on the d-line in St. Louis, Andre Johnson and Frank Gore are Colts, Jordan Cameron joined the Dolphins, Tramon Williams is in Cleveland with Dwayne Bowe, and Vince Wilfork is a Texan.

There are still a few talented players out there who remain un-signed.

I can not remember a single free agency with this many signings and trades right off the bat. The Patriots lost three key players to their defense in Revis, Browner, and Spikes all vacating. In the same division, the Bills vastly improved. Their offense now has LeSean McCoy, Percy Harvin, Sammy Watkins, Charles Clay, and Robert Woods. Scary for sure, now only if they had a playmaker at quarterback. 

It is hard to judge the Seahawks. While they added Jimmy Graham, they lost two secondary players to their famed “Legion of Boom.” Dallas lost one of their most valuable playmakers in Demarco Murray, who literally carried the entire team last year. With Romo and their crippling defense only getting older, I do not see them repeating as division champs.

If I had to pick a sleeper how I think will be better than last season, I like Cleveland’s chances at being a better team. They have two first-round picks in the draft, so that will add some talent in the void.

Then obviously, the Philadelphia Eagles get the award for most dramatic changes. No one was safe from being cut or traded on the team, and as a result, the Eagles are a completely different team than 2014.

The NFL Draft kicks off on April 29. For the teams that missed out on some top targets in free agency, the draft will be their last shot to redeem their team.