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Offseason Lowdown

Making Sense of FA Frenzy

by Jesse Pantuosco
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

(updated at 5:13 p.m. Thursday)

Free agency is up to its old tricks. Just ask the Eagles' new running back DeMarco Murray, proud owner of a five-year, $42 million contract. Let’s see who else found gainful employment this week.

The Saints did WHAT???!!!

Jimmy Graham’s Twitter bio says it all. In a move that almost ended the Internet once and for all, the Saints shipped tight end Jimmy Graham to Seattle for center Max Unger.

What’s that? Oh sorry, I was just mapping the parade route for when the Seahawks hoist the Lombardi Trophy next year.

Call it an offseason, Seattle. You just won everything. Graham is a once, well twice in a generation (can’t forget Gronk) talent. Who cares if he’s a lazy blocker? Graham caught ten touchdowns last season and 16 the year before. Paul Bunyan couldn’t cover this man.

Remember that fateful play at the goal line in Super Bowl whatever Roman numeral it was? No chance Malcolm Butler intercepts that pass if Russell Wilson throws it to Jimmy Graham. No way.

Meanwhile, what a gut punch to Drew Brees. The man throws 33 touchdowns and you take away his biggest weapon? At least New Orleans has Unger to keep Brees upright next year when he’s handing the ball off to Mark Ingram 30 times a game. Hear that? That’s the sound of the Saints’ championship window slamming shut.

Chip Kelly Goes Rogue … Again

The Eagles coach/trade enthusiast/maker of mayhem is going all kinds of maverick right now. Let’s recap.

March 3: Eagles trade RB LeSean McCoy to Bills for LB Kiko Alonso
March 8: Eagles agree to a deal with RB Frank Gore
March 9: Never mind, Eagles don’t agree to a deal with Frank Gore
March 10: Eagles trade QB Nick Foles to Rams for QB Sam Bradford
March 11: Frank Gore signs with Colts because Andrew Luck
March 11: Eagles agree to a three-year deal with RB Ryan Mathews 
March 12: Eagles sign RB DeMarco Murray to a five-year deal
March 12: Eagles agree to a three-year deal with RB Ryan Mathews ... again

Can’t you picture Chip trying to rationalize all this in a therapist’s office five years from now? Let’s start with the Bradford trade, which is a head scratcher on a number of different levels: 1) Why does Chip hate Nick Foles so much? The guy threw 27 touchdowns and two interceptions in 2013. 2) Bradford is an injury nightmare entering the final year of his preposterously expensive contract. His contract was so bad the NFL actually had to make a rule change so it wouldn’t happen again. 3) Does anybody believe Chip when he says the Eagles really aren’t going to trade up for Marcus Mariota? That’s like Jay Leno saying to Conan, “No worries, man. I’m not gonna’ steal your show.”

The Frank Gore part of this is depressing too. It was puzzling enough that Kelly wanted him; he’s an older, slower version of LeSean McCoy, who Kelly apparently deemed too old and too slow. But then for Gore to go from, “Of course I’ll sign with you guys!” to “Actually, no thanks” to “I’m going to sign with Indianapolis and grow a cool beard like Andrew Luck,” all in 48 hours? That’s brutal.

Chip saved the best for last though, signing DeMarco Murray away from Dallas in a switcheroo for the ages. Here’s why it makes sense: Murray and Bradford played together at the University of Oklahoma and they’re still best buds. Plus, they’re familiar with the spread option system Chip is hoping to institute in Philadelphia. The Murray signing also helps justify the LeSean McCoy trade. Essentially the Eagles swapped McCoy for Murray and Kiko Alonso. Most people could live with that.

There was about a three-hour period when it looked like logic might prevail, but nope, Ryan Mathews is coming to the Eagles too. Not only that, but he somehow got a $500,000 raise since yesterday. His first deal was for three years and $11.5 million. Thursday he signed for three years and $12 million. At this point, I’m pretty sure Chip did all this just to see how many times I’d have to update this column. The number is three so far.

Revis, We Hardly Knew You

Here’s why free agency shouldn’t be so close to the end of the season: there’s no time to savor your victory. Darrelle Revis went from immortal to the most hated man in New England in the span of a month.

What a silly deal to begin with. In what universe was Bill Belichick ever going to keep Revis for $25 million? Belichick is like the relative who buys you clothes for Christmas, or the neighbor who leaves a bowl of fruit out for Halloween. No way he’s forking over that kind of coin.

The Jets played this perfectly. They saved up a ton of cap room, got rid of dead weight by dropping Percy Harvin and gave Revis an offer they knew nobody else could touch. Seventy million dollars? Somebody give Revis’ agent a raise. That man can move mountains.

And let’s talk about the Jets for a second. They signed Revis, Buster Skrine, kept David Harris and traded for Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brandon Marshall. Call me crazy, but the Jets might actually be okay next year.

Super Bowl or Bust for Indy


Indy has Super Bowl fever and apparently the only prescription is to sign a bunch of Miami Hurricanes. Who knew?

If anyone deserved a fresh start, it was Andre Johnson. The quarterback situation in Houston has been laughable the past few seasons. Now he gets to play with a future MVP in Andrew Luck. Nice knowing you, Case Keenum.

Gore doesn’t warrant as much sympathy. The guy bailed on two teams in less than a week. Not cool. What’s sadder is that Gore, who turns 32 in May, was brought in to replace a washed up 24-year-old in Trent Richardson. What a bust. T-Rich hasn’t quite reached JaMarcus Russell territory yet, but he’s getting close. 

 

It’s a Little Bit About the Money


Move over, J.J. WattNdamukong Suh became the highest-paid defensive player of all-time Wednesday when he signed a six-year, $114 million contract with the Dolphins. In L.A., they call that “pajama rich.”

How’s this for some refreshing honesty? When asked at his introductory press conference why he chose the Dolphins, Suh answered, “I would say money was the most important factor.” I immediately thought of Adam Scott’s famous Step Brothers line, “For me, it’s a little bit about the money.” 

You have to admire Suh’s capitalist spirit. Unfortunately, Suh put a lot of men out of work. Dannell Ellerbe, Nate Garner, Cortland Finnegan, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson and Philip Wheeler were all cut to make room for Suh and his massive contract.

 

A few quick hits: 

- Jerome Felton was a sneaky good pickup for Buffalo. He was Adrian Peterson’s lead blocker in Minnesota the year he rushed for over 2,000 yards. He’s going to open up a lot of holes for LeSean McCoy.

- Shane Vereen didn’t do his fantasy value any favors by signing with the Giants. New York’s backfield was crowded enough already with Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams splitting carries.

- Green Bay did a nice job keeping its core together on offense (re-signed Bryan Bulaga and Randall Cobb). Too bad they neglected their defense. Davon House left to sign with Jacksonville and Tramon Williams could be next after visiting the Saints.

- It’s been a rough 48 hours for the Patriots, losing Revis, Vereen and Brandon Browner. At least they still have Touchdown Tom.

Jesse Pantuosco
Jesse Pantuosco is a football and baseball writer for Rotoworld. He has won three Fantasy Sports Writers Association Awards. Follow him on Twitter @JessePantuosco.