Winners, Losers From the Wild First Day of 2015 NFL Free Agency

By Seth Lassen

Biggest Winners and Losers From the First Day of NFL Free Agency

Chip Kelly Philadelphia Eagles
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It was an insane first day of free agency for the NFL. Not only did star players sign with new teams, but a couple unexpected blockbuster trades went down. We'll know for sure which teams made the right decisions after the 2015 season, but here's my best shot at breaking down all the drama just hours after it all went down.

Here are the five biggest winners and five biggest losers from the first day of NFL free agency.

Winner - Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots
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Winner - Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots
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It was a huge first day of free agency for the Colts. Their biggest win was swaying running back Frank Gore away from the Eagles to agree to become their new bell cow starting running back. The Colts also filled a need by adding veteran pass rusher Trent Cole, and while it’s not yet official, it looks likely Indianapolis will sign wide receiver Andre Johnson shortly.

Loser - Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders
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Loser - Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders
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The Raiders entered free agency with more cap space than every team besides the Jacksonville Jaguars. Nearly every player they’ve been linked to has signed with a different team and the only signing GM Reggie McKenzie has made has been a five-year deal with center Rodney Hudson. Even if Oakland is able to sign DeMarco Murray, their offseason is not off the start they were hoping for.

Winner - Russell Wilson

Seattle Seahawks
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Winner - Russell Wilson

Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks
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The Seahawks quarterback hasn’t had a true No. 1 receiver since the team drafted him three years ago. On Tuesday, the Seahawks took all the attention away from free agency when they pulled off the biggest blockbuster trade the NFL has seen in quite some time. Seattle traded center Max Unger and a first-round pick to the New Orleans Saints for tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick.

Loser - New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees Saints
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Loser - New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees Saints
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In the long run, the Saints trade of Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick for Max Unger and a first-round pick may work out, but that’s more like five years down the line. There’s no doubt the Saints got worse on Tuesday, and it’s looking increasingly more likely that they’re about to enter a rebuilding phase.

Winner - Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers
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Winner - Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers
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With a couple of the top players on the market, the Packers were set up to potentially be one of the biggest losers in free agency. First, the Packers managed to re-sign wide receiver Randall Cobb to a four-year $40 million contract. Green Bay was also able to keep their offensive line intact by bringing back tackle Bryan Bulaga on a five-year deal.

Loser - Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning Denver Broncos
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Loser - Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning Denver Broncos
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2015 is likely to be Manning’s final season in the NFL, so you can imagine he’d love to go out with a bang and a second Super Bowl title. His favorite red zone target, tight end Julius Thomas, signed with the Jaguars and guard Orlando Franklin signed a five-year deal with the Chargers. Not the start to free agency Manning wanted to see from his team.

Winner - New York Giants

Eli Manning New York Giants
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Winner - New York Giants

Eli Manning New York Giants
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants only made one headline-worthy move on Tuesday, and while it wasn’t one of the biggest signings of the day, it was one that will make a huge difference for the team in 2015. Former Patriots running back Shane Vereen was signed to a four-year contract worth up to $16 million. The Giants desperately needed to add some speed and a threat in the passing game to their backfield and Vereen is the perfect fit.

Loser - Chip Kelly

Chip Kelly Eagles
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Loser - Chip Kelly

Chip Kelly Eagles
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles head coach has some guts; I’ll give him that. Kelly had already traded LeSean McCoy to the Bills and let Jeremy Maclin leave to the Chiefs. He then failed to hold on to Frank Gore in free agency and made one of the most peculiar trades in some time. The Eagles traded Nick Foles, a fourth-round pick and a 2016 second-round pick for Sam Bradford and a fifth-round pick. That seems a little pricey for a player coming off two ACL injuries.

Winner - Byron Maxwell

Byron Maxwell
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Winner - Byron Maxwell

Byron Maxwell
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Maxwell officially signed a six-year, $63 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday. As the best corner on the market not named Darrelle Revis, Maxwell was expected to be paid handsomely, but I don’t think anyone expected his contract to be as big as what he ended up with.

Loser - Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco Baltimore Ravens
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Loser - Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco Baltimore Ravens
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens lost wide receiver Torrey Smith to the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday. Now the only receivers left on the roster are soon-to-be 35-year-old Steve Smith and frankly a bunch of no names. Flacco loves to throw the deep ball more than any other quarterback in the league, and today he lost his favorite target. Then again, it's hard to ever be a loser when you make over $20 million per year playing in the NFL.

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