Jay Glazer reports the New Orleans Saints are sending Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for Max Unger and a first-round pick. Now there's something no one saw coming. And another one no one saw coming: Aaron Wilson and every other national reporter claims the Detroit Lions traded for Haloti Ngata.
Let's deal with the Saints first.
Saints and Seattle have now agreed on trade sending jimmy graham and a 4 to Seattle for max Unger and a 1st— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) March 10, 2015
The Saints have been in salary cap hell for several years, and they just kept pushing cap hits into the future. And this is the result of that strategy: they have to part ways with good players because they simply can't afford them anymore. With Drew Brees aging and the talent on their roster rapidly depleting, we could be seeing the very real end of New Orleans' run as a good team. Amusingly, that trade didn't even help their cap all that much immediately, though it likely helps a lot in the long term.
Graham will carry $9million dead for #saints a gain of just $2m they will add $4.5 with Unger— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) March 10, 2015
I don't think this trade is that bad for the New Orleans Saints, though. They fix their salary cap problems, get a pretty good center and a first-round pick. Losing Jimmy Graham will hurt any team, but he did struggle with injury the last two years and his play seemed to dip last year.
As for the Ravens getting rid of Haloti Ngata, that one's harder to explain. Obviously the Lions were hoping to get Ndamukong Suh back, but their salary cap and contract bumbling prevented them from doing so. Sound familiar? Ngata is still one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL, especially for a 3-4 which is what the Lions are likely going to play, but he's 31 years old now. He's hitting the back stretch of his career.
Peter King reports the Lions are sending fourth- and fifth-round picks to the Ravens in exchange for Ngata, so that's a pretty reasonable trade.
As for Sam Bradford and Nick Foles, that likely closes the door on the Eagles trading up for Marcus Mariota -- they've now added Mark Sanchez and Bradford over the last couple of days. Bradford's contract prevents him from being a valuable trade target, so it's not like they're really adding ammunition for a trade up, either. Update: According to Turf Show Times, the Rams are sending Philadelphia a second-round pick. So that is a decent amount of ammo for a trade up.