The first day of NFL free agency witnessed several NFL stars landing in new cities. But the big deals came not via free agency but through trades.
The New Orleans Saints sent hybrid tight end/wide receiver Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks for center Max Unger and a future first-round pick, with the teams working out other draft considerations. The 6’7” three-time Pro Bowler gives Russell Wilson a big target to throw to in an offense that had become increasingly mediocre outside of the legs of Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch.
The St. Louis Rams prepared to exchange quarterbacks with the Philadelphia Eagles, looking to send former top draft pick Sam Bradford East for Nick Foles and draft considerations. The oft-injured Bradford never met expectations in St. Louis and Chip Kelly appears in a mood to revamp his team.
The Baltimore Ravens shipped five-time Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata to the Detroit Lions. The run-stopper may be one of the only defensive linemen able to fill the big shoes of Ndamukong Suh, who left the Lions for the Miami Dolphins via free agency. The Ravens, looking to keep several of their stars under contract, moved Ngata largely as a cost-cutting measure.
Other moves saw the New England Patriots lose versatile, pass-catching running back Shane Vereen to the New York Giants and Frank Gore agree to play for the Indianapolis Colts just days after reports cast him as a sure-fire signing for the Philadelphia Eagles.