NFL free agency continues, but the biggest names on the board have signed with new teams or re-signed with their team from last season. Many question who the real winner of this year’s free agency was and the easy answer to that is the league.
The NFL is the obsession of most sports fan in the U.S. If anyone doubted that, all they had to do was watch what took place last week when the NFL free agency started and huge rumors turned into revamping entire rosters.
The buzz that hit the NFL was louder than any heavy metal rock concert, thanks to the frenzy around free agency and a few trades that included high profile players that easily drowned out the rest of sports in the U.S.
The reports and updates on television, radio and the Internet were waited for, watched and listened to as if the lives of sports fans depended on them.
The offseason of the NFL trumped the NBA and NHL regular season battles for playoff spots. It made the preseason in MLB non-existent and was a March Madness of a completely different kind.
Ndamukong Suh signed the richest contract for a defensive player in NFL history, Darrelle Revis return to the Jets after playing for rivals New England, DeMarco Murray became an Eagle and joined a host of new players that could make Philadelphia the team to beat in the NFC or not.
However, it was the NFL that was the true winner of the frenzy. From the roster moves to the interest each one generated the conversation shifted from Deflatgate and Adrian Peterson to roster changes and anticipation for the upcoming 2015 season.
Even odds makers were caught off guard. On Monday, a new set of futures were released for Super Bowl 50 with very few changes even though a number of moves had been confirmed by teams, but not made official by the league.
However, odds makers had to scramble to adjust the futures as transaction after transaction took place on Tuesday and Wednesday. When the dust settled late Wednesday, the Super Bowl 50 futures had a number of changes on the board with teams moving both up and down.
This offseason could not have come at a better time for league officials. It shifted the discussion from the amount of air pressure in balls and player punishment to players moving and fans going wild.
The NFL Players Association announced that between Tuesday and Friday, 85 player contracts had been filed worth over $1.3 billion, with the guaranteed amount over $589 million.