We thought that all the action over the weekend would make Tuesday's kickoff of free agency quieter than usual. We were wildly wrong.
Three seismic trades completed within five minutes of each other ensured that Tuesday will go down in NFL junkie history. We may never see a flurry like that again. Darrelle Revis choosing to return to the Jets a few hours later was the icing on Tuesday, with Jason Worilds' retirement a fitting end to the madness.
These are moves that will reverberate for years: The highest-paid tight end in the league, Jimmy Graham, was dealt to the NFC champions in the middle of his prime. One potential Hall of Famer, Haloti Ngata, was dealt to replace another in Detroit. Another Canton-bound player, Darrelle Revis, left the Super Bowl champions to return to their biggest rivals. And the Rams and Eagles pulled off a rare challenge trade of flawed starting quarterbacks.
In the meantime, let's order the biggest moves of the day, ranked by impact:
- The Lions gave up a fourth- and fifth-round pick for Baltimore Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata, which makes us think the Lions believe they can get a long-term deal done with him. It says a lot that the Ravens didn't want to pay Ngata even though he had only one year left on his contract. They are taking $7.5 million in dead money just to get rid of him, which is strange. Look for the Lions to transition to a 3-4 defense under coordinator Teryl Austin.
- In a day full of stunning announcements, Worilds and Jake Locker's decisions to retire should not get lost in the shuffle. Worilds made nearly $10 million last year after getting Pittsburgh's transition tag, and was set to strike it rich on the open market. He was a top 20 free agent that consistently pressured the quarterback. Locker, unlike Worilds, had significant injury issues in his career. He wasn't going to find a starting job and its unclear if he'll try to pursue pro baseball. Worilds is 27. Locker is 26. They retired on the same day Patrick Willis, 30, had a press conference for his retirement. (He cited his toe and foot injuries.)
- Brandon Browner and Vince Wilfork are officially free agents. The Patriots didn't seem too interested in bringing Browner back because he simply wasn't that good last season. With that said, their top three cornerbacks are now Kyle Arrington, Malcolm Butler, and Logan Ryan. They have some work to do.
Topping Tuesday's action will require roughly five Hall of Famers and 3 starting quarterbacks to change teams. At this point, we're not ruling anything out.