5 takeaways from the start of NFL free agency

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The first official day of the NFL league year exceeded expectations. Not only did free agency officially get underway, but three blockbuster trades grabbed the attention of us all.

Here are five takeaways from the start of NFL free agency:

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5 takeaways from the start of NFL free agency

1. Eagles acquire Bradford; who’s the favorite to start?

The Eagles sent Nick Foles to St. Louis in exchange for former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford as both teams try to figure out their situation under center.

The Eagles already re-signed Mark Sanchez earlier this offseason, so it appears as if Sanchez and Bradford will compete for a starting job. Sanchez took over for an injured Foles midway through 2014 while Bradford has been dealing with rookies consistently since being named the 2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Since the start of 2010, Sanchez and Bradford own the second- and third-worst Total QBR in football, respectively, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

It was rumored that Philadelphia could be in the market for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, a likely top-six pick in the 2015 draft. While it seems like that notion could be put to rest, the fact that there are two veteran quarterbacks on the roster makes you wonder if one could just be trade bait.

(AP Photo/Scott Kane)

2. Graham traded to the Seahawks

The Saints sent All-World tight end Jimmy Graham to Seattle for center Max Unger and a first-round pick in 2015.

It’s a salary cap-driven move for New Orleans, which owns one of the worst situations in the league. It’s a game-changer for the two-time defending NFC champs, though.

The Seahawks are getting one of — if not the best — pass-catching tight end in all the NFL in Graham. He immediately bolsters the team’s red-zone offense and gives Russell Wilson a unique weapon to spark the passing game. When split out wide in 2014, Graham hauled in 67 passes for 709 yards and 10 touchdowns, according to ESPN Stats & Info. In contrast, Seattle’s leading wide receiver Doug Baldwin had 66 receptions.

Though Graham won’t do much when it comes to blocking for Marshawn Lynch, he’s a wide receiver playing at the tight end position, a strength only a handful of teams can take claim to having.

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

3. Jets win Revis sweepstakes

Pick up the balloons and put out a cake because there’s a reunion occurring in New York. After the Patriots opted not to pick up his option and couldn’t agree to a new deal, Darrelle Revis is returning to the Jets, the team that originally drafted him.

Revis played in New York from 2007-12. After an injury plagued season 2012 season he was traded to Tampa Bay, but that experiment came to an end after one season as the corner was cut and quickly scooped up by New England.

Revis now returns to the Jets under first-year head coach Todd Bowles and will likely finish his career where it all started. The Jets made Revis the highest-paid corner in the NFL’s history via a five-year, $70 million pact, including $39 million guaranteed.

There’s a chance the Jets could also bring in Revis’ former teammate Antonio Cromartie, who played under Bowles in Arizona the past few years.

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

4. Locker, Worilds hangs up his cleats

The 26-year-old former No. 8 overall pick in 2011 has decided he won’t be partaking in free agency this offseason. Instead, Jake Locker will head into retirement.

Locker has battled through a plethora of injuries throughout his career with Tennessee. Never has Locker started a full 16-game season. Instead, he’s played in 30 of a possible 64 games. In his career, Locker has dealt with shoulder, hand, neck, rib and foot issues. In a statement Tuesday, Locker said he “no longer (has) the burning desire necessary to the play the game for a living.”

Former Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds did the same. The 27-year-old free agent stepped away from football “to pursue other interests,” he announced Tuesday.

(AP Photo/David Richard, File)

5. Ngata Raven anymore

Keeping with the theme of the day, the Ravens sent nose tackle Haloti Ngata to the Lions as they prepare for life without Ndamukong Suh, now a member of the Dolphins.

Ngata was reportedly asked to accept a pay cut to remain in Baltimore but declined. After Terrell Suggs accepted the proposition, Ngata immediately became expendable.

When Ngata was suspended four games last year, youngsters Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan filled Ngata’s spot respectably, so the Ravens saw enough that they could survive without the perennial All-Pro. He’ll help keep the Lions’ defensive line formidable in the meanwhile.

Last season, Ngata was a part of a Baltimore defense that ranked second in yards per rush allowed between the tackles (3.39), per ESPN Stats & Info. He now goes to the Lions, who ranked first in that same category (3.23 yards per rush).

(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
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