A flurry of NFL trades and transactions went down Tuesday, with several big-name players switching teams.
Among the highlights: Sam Bradford was traded from St. Louis to Philadelphia for Nick Foles, Jimmy Graham was traded from New Orleans to Seattle for draft picks, and Haloti Ngata was traded from Baltimore to Detroit for picks.
“It was nuts,” CBSSports.com NFL writer Will Brinson said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Three blockbuster trades came down – to the point where you’re trying to figure out is Jimmy Graham to the Saints a bigger deal or is it Nick Foles to the Rams and Sam Bradford to the Eagles (or is it) Haloti Ngata to the Lions? I mean, we’re talking superstar names. This is NBA trade deadline type of stuff.”
Additionally, Torrey Smith signed with San Francisco, and Frank Gore signed with Indianapolis.
Has your head stopped spinning yet?
Brinson said the Graham deal is probably the biggest move of the day, but the Bradford/Foles swap is probably the most interesting, especially with the uncertainty surrounding it.
“I think swapping quarterbacks is a bigger story,” Brinson said. “I think the ramifications and kind of the whole idea of arguing about who won a trade is much more interesting for the quarterback trade because Nick Foles and Sam Bradford are still kind of unknown commodities to everybody, including their new coaches and their old coaches. I think we understand that Jimmy Graham is going to come to Seattle and probably do pretty well and be a nice third-down, chain-moving target – (a) red-zone target for Russell Wilson. He’ll be the first real No. 1 option that the Seahawks will have.
“We know the Seahawks are going to get better because of this,” Brinson continued. “The Saints are probably not going to be dramatically worse – even though they’ll miss Graham – because they can plug and play guys in that system. Brandin Cooks is there. They still have Marques Colston (and) Mark Ingram coming back. So I think from a point of intrigue, the Eagles and the Rams swapping quarterbacks is probably a bigger story.”
Now we just need to see if they actually stay there – especially Bradford. Do Chip Kelly and Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur believe Bradford can be the guy in Philly? Or will he just be trade bait for a potential move to draft Marcus Mariota?
“I’ve been standing by the idea that I don’t think Chip Kelly would go nuts and go all in for Marcus Mariota because I think he values picks too much,” Brinson said. “And the last I saw, the Eagles are getting a second-round pick. I think if Chip Kelly is acquiring an additional second-round pick, then in all likelihood he is using this for ammunition – especially with Sam Bradford coming up on his contract (year) – he’s using this as ammunition to go get Marcus Mariota. He has a lot of cap space to work with, and additionally he has Mark Sanchez in the fold.
“So you’re kind of set up if you’re Chip Kelly, you can go for gusto, go for Mariota,” Brinson continued. “And if for some reason it doesn’t work out, you have the fall-back option of maybe working with Sam Bradford or just going with Sanchez. (Or) maybe Bradford is trade bait. I think there’s a lot of flexibility here for Chip Kelly. I certainly wouldn’t say he is committed to Sam Bradford simply based on the contract information.”