Blockbuster Trades Dominate Day One Of The 2015 NFL Season.
Day one of the 2015 NFL season certainly did not disappoint. The highly anticipated flurry of activity included the usual crop of big-money free agent signings that were seemingly upstaged by a few notably shocking blockbuster trades.
Arguably the most astonishing day one deal saw the New Orleans Saints send their super star tight end Jimmy Graham to the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks for pro bowl center Max Unger and the 31st pick in the upcoming April draft.
After the normally high-powered Saints offense had conspicuously sputtered in 2014, fans and industry insiders seemed stunned by Graham’s exodus. As pro bowl quarterback Drew Brees’ security blanket and New Orleans’ number one offensive weapon, the former third round pick cemented himself as one of the league’s top tight ends since joining the Saints in 2010.
Lacking a true top target in their receiving corps, the Seahawks finally snagged a certified pass catching phenom to pair with their play making quarterback Russell Wilson. After losing the 2014 Super Bowl on a controversial goal line interception, Seattle seemingly satisfied their glaring need for a bona fide red zone receiving threat.
While the Graham deal sent shockwaves throughout the entire NFL community, one particular Pennsylvanian fan base was left collectively scratching their heads as the league officially opened for business Tuesday afternoon. Philadelphia Eagles head coach and player personnel puppeteer, Chip Kelly, truly started the new season with an undisputed bang.
Earlier in the week it was unexpectedly announced that Kelly would indeed deal his former league leading rusher Lesean “Shady” McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso. Already in a perceived panic over losing their featured running back, Philly fans weren’t finished being stunned.
A full-fledged quarterback swap was next on the horizon. The Eagles sent starter Nick Foles and two late round draft picks to the St. Louis Rams for their injury plagued passer and former number one overall pick Sam Bradford and fifth round draft pick.
After letting the speedy and electrifying receiver Desean Jackson go to division rival Washington Redskins last season, Kelly and the Eagles front office also decided not re-sign dynamic free agent wide out Jeremy Maclin. Just two years after taking the wheel, Chip Kelly’s dramatic roster shake up lead to the jaw-dropping departures of Philadelphia’s superstar running back, starting quarterback and top two wide receivers.
Day one headlines of a new NFL season are typically dominated by high dollar free agent signings. However, 2015’s blockbuster trades auspiciously overshadowed the media’s tiresome cliché, also now known as the annual “free agent frenzy.”
Although the sky might seem to be falling in one NFL city, the presumptuous and premature planning of a championship parade route might be being envisioned in another. However, as always, the true impact of this whirlwind of pre-season signings won’t truly be felt until the season kicks off in September.