On Tuesday, we witnessed the craziest five minutes in NFL transaction history.
You simply don't see blockbuster deals like this in the NFL often, although we're getting used to it with Chip Kelly around. The Rams and Eagles basically challenged each other by swapping Nick Foles and Sam Bradford. The Saintsbizarrely gave up on Jimmy Graham less than a year after giving him huge money. The Seahawks happily stepped up for him, giving up great center Max Unger and a first-round pick to acquire Graham. And the Ravens decided that Haloti Ngata was no longer worth the money, and basically gave him away.
This is a lot to digest and the three trades are very, very different. The Jimmy Graham deal to Seattle is the blockbuster, and a loud admission by the Saints that they have mismanaged the cap. The Ngata deal is a sign from the Ravens that they don't believe he's still a huge difference-maker. And the Bradford-Foles deal is a pure challenge trade between teams that grew tired of their quarterbacks.
Let's look at some quick winners and losers from the trades:
When healthy, Max Unger is one of the best centers in the league. The Saints also picked up the No. 31 overall pick in this draft in exchange for a fourth-round pick. But Wilson, Seahawks fans and Pete Carroll have to be absolutely thrilled. The Seahawks nearly won the Super Bowl with Doug Baldwin as their top receiver. Graham makes their offense much more dangerous.
Sam Bradford: He's going from Brian Schottenheimer to Chip Kelly. Bradford has a unique chance to salvage his career for an offense that can't help but put up big numbers.
Teryl Austin: The former Baltimore Ravens assistant just found the lynchpin for his possibly changing defense. The Lions could be moving to a 3-4 defense now that they have Haloti Ngata in place. Perhaps Ngata is overpaid, but he played very well in 2014. He only has one year left on his contract, so the Ravens saved some cap space and got fourth- and fifth-round picks in return. This certainly diminishes the pain of losing Ndamukong Suh.
Max Unger: Unger is moving to an inferior team. But no one that gets to move to New Orleans can be considered anything but a winner.
Jimmy Graham: Saints fans don't want to hear it, but this feels like a franchise starting a slow decline. The Seahawks should be contenders for years and they clearly don't have a problem with Graham's big contract. Still, we have to wonder: What caused the Saints to give up on Graham so quickly? Perhaps they don't believe he can stay healthy.
Nick Foles: He's going from an offense led by one of the best offensive minds in the NFL to an offense led by ... Frank Cignetti. The Rams haven't been able to create offense under Jeff Fisher, and there will be a ton of pressure on this team to win now. The spectre of moving out of St. Louis hangs over the situation. Foles does not have great talent around him, although he will be playing with a great defense. In short: This will be an uphill battle.
Mark Sanchez: Remember when he looked like a decent bet to start Week 1 for Philadelphia? That was a great day.
Marcus Mariota: Chip Kelly could still make a play for his former pupil, but it's looking a lot less likely now. Landing in Philadelphia would have been the least bumpy transition to the NFL for Mariota. Then again, perhaps Bradford could be used in such a trade for Mariota. Now that would really blow our minds.
"I'm as shocked as everyone else," Brees told NFL Network's Alex Flanagan. "I love the guy."