In one of the craziest weeks of the NFL off-season, football fans nationwide have seen dozens of their favorite superstars shipped from their old teams to new homes for the 2015 NFL season. Some of the biggest names in football will be packing their bags this spring with the hopes of leading their new teams on the journey to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California, which will be held on February 7, 2016.
The landscape of the AFC was just shaken up big time as a handful of teams are on a mission to overthrow the New England Patriots from their championship throne. In arguably the biggest signing of the off-season, the Miami Dolphins acquired perennial All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh from the Detroit Lions. Suh’s presence on the Dolphins defensive line will surely propel Miami from middle-of-the-pack team to legitimate AFC East contender. Suh will be making over $110 million with his new contract with $60 million of that money guaranteed. After teasing the idea of joining the Philadelphia Eagles, long-time San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore will join the Indianapolis Colts. The Gore signing is especially valuable for Indianapolis as they struggled to find a consistent force in their backfield throughout their 2014 season. The Eagles became the first team since 2008 to lose their leading rusher and receiver from the previous season, as Philly moved franchise cornerstone LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills and star wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to the Kansas City Chiefs. Down South, Blake Bortles just picked up a downfield target that could turn him into one of the AFC’s best young quarterbacks in 2015. The Jacksonville Jaguars signed two-time Pro Bowler and AFC Champion Julius Thomas to ignite their offense and bring them out of the cellar of the league standings.
Despite losing their defensive powerhouse, the Detroit Lions very quickly made up for the departure of Suh by trading draft picks to the Baltimore Ravens for five-time All-Pro defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. Ngata will join the likes of Ziggy Ansah to form one of the leagues most feared defensive lines in the Motor City. Not all has been lost in the City of Brotherly Love as well. The Eagles lost McCoy and Maclin but were able to acquire future NFL superstar linebacker Kiko Alonso, who played his college ball under Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly at Oregon, and former Legion of Boom member Byron Maxwell. The Seattle Seahawks were just seconds away from being crowned back-to-back Super Bowl champs and heavily increased their chances for a second championship in three years with a big time free agent signing. Seattle acquired three-time Pro Bowler Jimmy Graham from the New Orleans Saints. Since his entry to the league from the University of Miami, Graham has made his name as one of the biggest play-makers in the league, hauling in an incredible 26 touchdowns in the past two seasons alone. As for the Super Bowl XLIX Champion New England Patriots, the team lost dominant cornerback Darrelle Revis to AFC East foe New York Jets. The Super Bowl champion and AFC Defensive Player of the Year is heading home to likely close out his career with the Jets and hopes to make New York a contender in the coming football season.
With many surprising roster moves and huge change-ups across every team in the NFL, the 2015 football season should be quite interesting. As the New England Patriots look to defend their title and the rest of the league preps to dethrone the former Super Bowl champion, the competition will be fierce and full of exciting moments. While football fans longingly await the start of the 2015 NFL season, they’ll have to live off the thrill of their team’s latest roster moves as the free agency frenzy continues and the draft approaches. In the meantime, NFL fans can gear up for next season and invest the future of their team by shopping for football memorabilia autographed by all of their favorite players, here.