Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports
As much as the NFL would like you to disregard any and all free-agency-related rumblings you may have since the free agency period technically begins today, we know that's an impossibility. So much has already happened and so much is going to happen today and the next couple of days that the excitement and speculation has built to a fever pitch of late. So with the official free agency period beginning this afternoon, let's review the most important questions we hope to have answered once it is all said and done.
1. What on earth are the Eagles doing?
This has to be one of the strangest deconstructions of a perennial contender in NFL history. The Eagles have traded their star running back LeSean McCoy and have (reportedly) let their star receiver Jeremy Maclin walk in free agency. Perhaps Chip Kelly has a plan but it's nearly impossible to argue that the Eagles are now better offensively than they were a week ago. Defensively signing Byron Maxwell and trading for Kiko Alonso makes sense but offensively the Eagles seem destined to struggle. Kelly's offense relies so heavily on speed and agility and he's traded away almost all of his speed on the offensive side of the ball. Frank Gore instead of LeSean McCoy (maybe)? Riley Cooper in lieu of Jeremy Maclin? Let's hope Kelly has a plan up his sleeves somewhere.
2. Where will Darrelle Revis take his talents?
This is actually both the simplest and the most difficult question to answer. On the one hand we already know where he'll go and that's to whomever pays him the most money. I'm 99 percent sure that Revis would play for the Montreal Alouettes if they offered him a big enough contract. The tricky part is figuring out who is going to buck up. Even though the Patriots declined Revis' option they still might look to retain his services with a more cap-friendly long-term contract than the $20 million he would have collected for just this season. The Jets are the other favorite to sign Revis at this point but a dark horse could emerge, especially when we know it only comes down to money as Revis doesn't seem to choose favorites based on anything other than a paycheck (not criticizing by the way, just stating a fact).
3. Where will DeMarco Murray end up?
You know the state of the NFL has changed when the 27-year-old who lead the NFL in rushing and was arguably his team's MVP last year is possibly bound for free agency. That's where DeMarco Murray could be headed if the Cowboys fall in line with most other teams and ride the "almost all running backs are expendable" train. The one thing that hasn't changed is that top five running backs like Murray are still valuable and still aren't a dime a dozen, but the way they are valued has.
While the Cowboys are still in the drivers seat if they decide to resign Murray reports have indicated that the star running back is open to going elsewhere and teams such as the Jaguars have already stated their interest.
4. What's up with the washed-up veteran quarterback market?
We all know that the quarterback position is the most important one in sports yet there are so many NFL teams that make head-scratching decisions when it comes to the free agency period. Why did the Buffalo Bills trade for Matt Cassel? Why did the Browns give Josh McCown a three-year deal? Why do the Jets and the Texans seem so intent on signing Brian Hoyer or Ryan Fitzpatrick?
These are proven quarterbacks in this league - and by that I mean they have proven time and time again that they cannot get the job done. Yet teams are lining up out the door for their services. And most of these guys are being signing with the opportunity to compete against young quarterbacks and a real chance to start. Strange times in the NFL when stud running backs have fewer suitors than bottom of the barrel quarterbacks.
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