The Oberlin Review

Suh’s Mega-Deal Top Move of NFL Offseason

Dan Bisno and Henry Weissberg

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We bet you’re wondering what we are going to throw at you this week. Will it be a left jab of basketball analysis? Or a righty uppercut of football talk? Oh yeah, that’s the one. We’re talking NFL. Football! Football! Football! There is no offseason for us. Free agent signings and offseason trades are what keep us warm during the dreary final days of winter.

We are here to update you on the most important offseason moves in the NFL. Practically as exciting as the regular NFL season, the offseason is a time when millions are made and championship teams are crafted. With dozens of difference makers available, the offseason is like a trip to Disneyland for general managers.

Now, without further ado, the top moves of the 2015 NFL offseason.

The New York Jets were clearly still bitter about losing their stud cornerback Darrelle Revis in the 2013 offseason, so they went out of their way to get him back. They signed their former first-round pick to a record-setting deal that will pay him $70 million over the next five years. Last season, Revis’ one-on-one coverage skills allowed the New England Patriots to experiment with different pass-rush options, a structural change that surely assisted in the team’s Super Bowl run. Now, “Revis Island” returns to New York, where he will add a defensive security blanket that will allow Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson to get after opposing quarterbacks. Because of the huge impact he’s likely to have, we say he’s the fourth biggest acquisition of this offseason.

In the biggest surprise of the offseason, the Seattle Seahawks traded starting center Max Unger and a 2015 first-round pick to the Saints for former All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick. If you’ve forgotten, the Seahawks were one poorly timed pass away from winning back-to-back Super Bowls. The Seahawks refused to stand on that recent success, though. Graham is the model for the contemporary superhuman tight end. He’s a former college basketball player who has speed, can line up in the spread and is a beast in the end zone. Graham led the league with 16 touchdowns in 2013 and had another 10 in 2014. His addition to the Seahawks turns a heavy contender into the favorite to win it all. Graham is the owner of the largest contract ever given to a tight end, and a beneficiary of the third most significant move in the new NFL year.

Leaving teams for the biggest paycheck is one thing we don’t approve of, but that’s the opposite of what this 214-pound running back did. DeMarco Murray leaving the Dallas Cowboys for the Philadelphia Eagles was all about the chance to earn a shiny gold ring next February. Murray is fresh off a career year in which he led the league with 1,845 rushing yards, tied for the league lead with 13 rushing touchdowns and finally proved he could stay healthy. Now he’s cashed in big time. He began the season with an explosion that dug shrapnel into the ghosts of running backs past. Murray broke Jim Brown’s legendary record of six consecutive 100-yard games to start the season. As the hottest running back on the market this offseason, he was quickly picked up by the Eagles for a respectable $42 million over five years. His one-year-old daughter Savannah is gonna have one heck of a cool crib and cradle. We share Head Coach Chip Kelly’s excitement about his newest toy, and for that Murray takes the No. 2 position on our listicle.

While Ndamukong Suh may not have held an hour-long television special about his free agency decision, he did take his talents to South Beach. Just one year after J.J. Watt signed the largest defensive contract in NFL history, Suh received a contract worth $114 million over six years, eclipsing Watt’s deal by a staggering $14 million. That’s a boatload of dough! Among defensive tackles, Suh leads the league with 36 sacks, a 50% disruptive play percentage, and 4,107 total snaps since 2010. Last year he was the centerpiece of a stalwart Detroit Lions defense that ranked first in rushing yards allowed per game. Suh fills a heavy need for the Miami Dolphins as they ranked a lowly 24th in run defense last season. His addition is probably enough to push them into the top 10. The former unanimous All-American from Nebraska is a decorated NFL all-star. Bringing a Lombardi trophy to Miami will make him a future hall of famer and prove us right for ranking him No. 1.

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