Free agency onslaught

Okay, I know many of us in the wake of the eternally-exciting Super Bowl XLIX are experiencing football fatigue.

Every year, we go through this process of entering the new NFL year and are met with an onslaught of preseason roster changes for one reason or another. Some teams are planning for the future and clearing cap space, some are revamping the roster to fit their image (Chip Kelly), and some are adding what they believe to be the last piece or two to their championship-caliber roster. The quickest route to the playoffs is to win the division so every team always has three other teams in mind when making their moves. This year has been unique in that it has a particularly high volume of big-name, fan-favorite players that will now be found in a new location, wearing new colors.

Two of the biggest moves were tight ends. Jimmy Graham left the city that drafted him in New Orleans and went north to Seattle to make the Seahawks more balanced on both sides of the ball. Julius Thomas ran and took the money in Jacksonville giving Peyton Manning one less stud to look for in the red zone. Nick Foles and Sam Bradford swapped places in the midst of Chip Kelly’s offseason extravaganza as well as sending LeSean McCoy to the Bills, for young inside linebacker Kiko Alonso, coming off a season ending ACL surgery. Demarco Murray left the Cowboys and filled the vacancy of fellow NFC East competitor, Philadelphia.

Two huge defensive contracts came about with Darrelle Revis heading back to the Jets ($39 M guaranteed) and Ndamukong Suh went to the Dolphins ($60M guaranteed). Patriot fan-favorite Vince Wilfork has sadly moved as well; now he can be found in Houston as a Texan. With all of this movement going on, things become even more unclear with the 2015 draft approaching at the end of April as well as the unforeseen retirement of multiple young players. The players retiring have all cited injuries, especially to the head, and the effects that they have on life’s longevity as their main reasons for walking away from the sport they love.

Some of these players include 26-year-old Titans (2nd pick in upcoming 2015 draft) quarterback Jake Locker, 30-year-old linebacker Patrick Willis and his even younger replacement, 24-year-old Chris Borland on the 49ers. Teams have not been shy this year about shopping their players around, and in this chaotic offseason of uncertainty only one constant can be found: change.