NFL Teams Willing to Pay Big for Top Free Agent Talent

Photo courtesy of Mike Morbeck, Flickr Creative Commons

NFL free agency opened on March 10 at 4 p.m., and it did not take long for a frenzy of signings to begin.

Many teams with desperate needs at certain positions began courting the league’s top free agents with multi-million dollar deals as a handful of players officially joined their new teams.

One of the biggest signings of free agency so far is former Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Suh signed a mega deal with the Miami Dolphins, reported to be a six-year contract worth $114 million, with $60 million guaranteed.

This figure puts Suh’s salary amongst the salaries of the league’s top paid quarterbacks, which is unheard of for defensive players. Suh is one of the league’s premier defensive linemen, considered by some to be second only to Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt, who agreed on a $100 million deal in September.

Perhaps the next biggest name taken off the market was cornerback Darrelle Revis. Coming off a Super Bowl Championship with the New England Patriots, Revis had a wide variety of teams willing to pay him huge amounts for his services.

Revis was looking for around $40 million in guaranteed money, which was far more than the famously conservative Patriots front office was willing to give him. In the end, there was one team with the cap room to give Revis what he wanted, the team that drafted him in the first place, the New York Jets.

Revis embarked on a glorious homecoming to the Jets with a five-year, $70 million deal with $39 million guaranteed.

With two of the biggest names off the market early, teams around the league continued to frantically fill the vacancies in their roster.

The Indianapolis Colts have made a few quality signings in the past few days acquiring running back Frank Gore, wide receiver Andre Johnson and defensive end Trent Cole.

Frank Gore will add power and new life to the Colts’ non-existent running game, while T.Y. Hilton and Andre Johnson look to be a dangerous receiving pair for quarterback Andrew Luck.

Big-time trades accompanied the big signings of free agency. Probably the most talked about trade was between the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills. The Bills traded away linebacker Kiko Alonso, who is coming off an injury, for the Eagles star running back LeSean McCoy.

Many were left scratching their heads. Freshman Oliver Gonzales thinks that the Bills robbed the Eagles in the trade.

“I seriously don’t know how the Bills got away with that. McCoy is one of the best running backs in the game,” Gonzales said.

This could all be a part of what seems to be an Oregon takeover in Philadelphia with former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly at the helm.

Another eye-opening trade was the shipping of New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks. The Saints got a fourth round draft pick and center Max Unger in exchange for Graham.

Graham could finally give Seahawks quarterback Russel Wilson an explosive receiver to add some talent to their receiving core and give some balance to their run-heavy offense.

Locally, the New York Giants acquired former Patriots running back Shane Vareen and Dwayne Harris from the Dallas Cowboys. Vareen could serve as a helpful receiver coming out of the backfield for the Giants, while Harris can add speed to the receiving core and serve as a dangerous punt returner.

The big question still remains as to where star running back DeMarco Murray will take his talents, considering he is regarded as one of the most sought after backs in the league.

There is still a lot of action to take place in NFL free agency, but the opening days have delivered plenty of excitement for fans everywhere.