2015 NFL Free Agency: Day 1 Winners and Losers

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Aug 15, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll (right) talks with general manager John Schneider before a game against the San Diego Chargers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Never in the history of pro football has so much happened in such a short span of time.  Day 1 of 2015 NFL free agency will go down as one of the craziest ever just in terms of drastic shifts in roster via signings, cuts and trades.  So the question is which teams hit big and which came up painfully short.  Here are the winners and losers from opening day.


Seattle Seahawks

Losing a Pro Bowl center in Max Unger and a 1st round pick is tough, but the Seattle Seahawks have proven they can get over such losses.  So to get an All-Pro tight end in Jimmy Graham who will present that sorely needed big target for Russell Wilson on money downs and in the red zone is a huge score for a team that is already a Super Bowl contender.

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Miami Dolphins

Was $114 million and $60 million fully guaranteed a high price to pay for Ndamukong Suh?  Of course.  Everybody knew it was going to take a ridiculous sum to get one of the top three defensive linemen in the NFL.  Still, the Miami Dolphins may have pulled off a steal.  Suh is an equal parts dominator on the interior who commands double teams.  That will open up opportunities for Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon on the outside.  If the Dolphins can fortify their secondary, this defense will be scary moving forward.

Green Bay Packers

Many cheeseheads were afraid the Green Bay Packers were going to lose at least one of their top free agents in either right tackle Bryan Bulaga and wide receiver Randall Cobb.  Both were huge keys to the team making their run to the NFC championship this past season and wouldn’t be easy to replace.  Luckily, despite bigger offers from other teams, GM Ted Thompson was able to make the numbers work enough to lure the two starters back to Lambeau.  That counts as a huge victory.

Detroit Lions

Rest assured, keeping Ndamukong Suh would’ve been the preferable route for the Detroit Lions but in light of that GM Martin Mayhew may have done better than anybody could’ve possibly hoped in replacing the departed Pro Bowler.  That came by trading 4th and 5th round draft picks to Baltimore in exchange for Haloti Ngata.  Though 31-years old, there are no signs the star nose tackle is slowing down.  He finished 2014 with 31 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a glowing grade from Pro Football Focus.  Now if the Lions can retain Nick Fairley, their defensive front should continue to drive their success.

New York Jets

Being able to pry Darrelle Revis away from their hated rival Patriots by itself is a victory for the New York Jets.  Yes, it certainly cost them at five years, $70 million.  Even so, they again have one of the top 5 corners in the league at a position they sorely needed it.  To also add a quality #2 option in Buster Skrine, a starting guard in James Carpenter and also retain defensive captain David Harris must be called a productive first day.  There is still work to for head coach Todd Bowles (*cough*quarterback*cough*) but there is no denying Gang Green is better than it was at the end of last season.