It’s incredible how fleeting the post-coital moment following the Super Bowl truly is.
Six months of intense anticipation to crown a champion and by the following Wednesday we’re already mulling draft picks and wondering who we’ll gift those worthless “preseason” game tickets to come August.
Sure, there undoubtedly remain a few Patriots fans fastidiously tidying up their Brady shrines, and up in Seattle it’s not just Pete Carroll wondering what might have been had Beast Mode been given the rock on 2nd and Goal.
But the rest of the league? They’ve moved on. And some teams seem to be on an all-out mission to turn their fortunes upside-down.
Let the race to Super Bowl 50 Begin.
AFC East looking to challenge the champs
The New England Patriots have won an absurd 12 of the last 14 AFC East titles. The Jets, Bills and Dolphins went all in this off-season to shake things up and try to close the gap.
The Jets finally said sayonara to Rex Ryan and also opted to drop the Percy Harvin experiment, instead trading for WR Brandon Marshall from the Bears – but the big news out of New York is the resigning of Darrelle Revis to a ridiculous $70M contract ($39M guaranteed). The additional signing of Antonio Cromartie could mean the Jets’ secondary is one of the league’s best in 2015.
Picking up New York’s sloppy seconds, the Bills quickly hired Rex Ryan and decided to be the next team to roll the dice on Percy Harvin. Should Harvin stay healthy and come even close to matching his potential the one-two combo of Percy and Sammy Watkins could be one of the NFL’s top WR tandems. The question, of course, still remains “Who is going to throw them the ball?”
Will newly signed Matt Cassell make a late-career surge? Can EJ Manuel develop into a solid starter? QB is always a wild card for any team that doesn’t have a proven starter on the roster but at least this time around Buffalo’s offense will feature a proven Pro Bowl caliber back. The Bills made waves this offseason by trading multi-faceted LeSean McCoy away from the Eagles.
And oh yeah, before I forget – did you get a load of Rex Ryan’s new truck?
— Dave Bastian (@townelivery) March 7, 2015
Miami signed corner Brice McCain and tight end Jordan Cameron and shipped off Mike Wallace to the Vikings to make salary cap room for Ndamukong Suh.
Suh is now the highest paid defensive player in the NFL but for all the controversy surrounding his style of play, this dude’s a game changer.
My way or the highway
Philly fans have got to be hoping Chip Kelly knows what he’s doing. While the LeSean McCoy deal landed the defense a solid linebacker in Kiko Alonso, the Eagles’ front office took a big risk in paying DeMarco Murray $8M per year after one big season running behind the league’s best offensive line.
They also overpaid for Byron Maxwell from the Seahawks ($10.2M). Maxwell is a talented player but 10 large is too much for a guy that’s never been tested outside of the confines of the Legion of Boom.
And what’s with the Nick Foles for Sam Bradford swap? Sure, Bradford’s got one hell of an upside if he stays healthy but do you really want to trust your season to Mark Sanchez again if Sam’s “Knee Version 3.0” goes haywire?
And the rich get richer
If there’s one thing that prevented the Seattle Seahawks from being unbeatable in 2014 it was the lack of a big-bodied receiver in the red zone.
In this year’s most shocking move to date, New Orleans shipped off All World tight end Jimmy Graham to the Hawks for a first round pick and C Max Unger (the Hawk also get a mid-round pick).
There’s no question that Seattle’s offensive line is now a bit suspect after losing Unger and James Carpenter (free agent signed with Jets) but adding Graham to Russell Wilson’s arsenal (while extending Marshawn Lynch) means that Seattle will be the pre-season favorites to play in three straight Super Bowls.
My Uber driver is a Cardinals fan. “I want to punch the guy who trade Jimmy Graham to goddamn Seahawks in the face.”
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) March 25, 2015
I really don’t know what the Saints are thinking here. Don’t be surprised if we start to see fans donning paper bags in the Super Dome circa the 1980s.
Speaking of Tight Ends
The Jags landed Julius Thomas along with tackle Jermey Parnell and defensive end Jared Odrick.
Are the tides ready to change in Jacksonville?
Marqise Lee, Julius Thomas, Blake Bortles out here working out at school!! These dudes are freaks pic.twitter.com/MDjoezhoHv
— kj costello (@kj_costello) March 20, 2015
How much gas is left in the tank with these old guys?
Many a fantasy football season has been ruined by drafting has-beens in a young man’s league – then again, plenty of old-timers pump out one or two more years of high productivity, too.
Only time will tell if signing 32-year-old Frank Gore and 33-year-old Andre Johnson were the right moves for the Indianapolis Colts.
On paper, Andrew Luck now has all the weapons he needs to take his team to the Super Bowl, but the games are played on grass and field turf.
Franchise tag for Dez Bryant and Murray’s replacement
Tony Romo was lobbying for Jerry Jones to pony up the dough for DeMarco Murray, but should newly signed Darren McFadden stay healthy we could quickly see who was doing the heavy lifting in the Dallas run game.
Dez will have to be content with the franchise tag for now but I think they made the right move in Big D by not overpaying Murray for his ability to jaunt through gaping wide holes.
Big trade rumors leading up to the draft
Don’t be surprised to see more shocking trades in the weeks leading up to the draft – while most of the big rumors (Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers) are just that, there are surely plenty of other deals currently being worked behind closed doors.