Friday, January 16, 2015

Sport for Thought: 2015 NFL Free Agents - Game Changers

This season's class of free agents can shake up the power landscape in the NFL like no other season. Big name players are available on both sides of the football, and their is a significant chance many of these players may not return to their current team.

Offensive players: Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray, Peyton Manning and Randall Cobb.

Defensive players: Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy, Justin Houston, Darrelle Revis, and Jason Pierre-Paul.

Of course their current teams would love to keep these reliable, record breaking, elite athletes on their roster, unfortunately it all comes down to MONEY! Can teams afford to re-sign a player that will be extremely difficult to replace? Will teams be willing to dig deep into their wallets and dish out the amount of cash these players will be demanding?

For instance, the Dallas Cowboys have two big time free agents and with their salary cap situation, it is almost impossible to re-sign both wide receiver Dez Bryant and running back DeMarco Murray. It is difficult to part with either of these players because they both mean so much to the success of the Cowboys offense, but a decision will have to be made. I think it is more realistic and a better decision to resign Dez Bryant due to a wide receiver having a longer period of time to be in the prime of their career compared to a running backs career. Although Dez will most likely cost the Cowboys more money (especially with his new representation, Roc Nation Sports), he offers them many more promising years than Murray does. Especially after all of the use they got out of DeMarco this season (led the league in yards from scrimmage), it may be time to part with the teams work horse. No matter which player the Cowboys decide to re-sign, only one thing is for certain: it will cost them a                                             substantial amount of money!

The Denver Broncos also find themselves in quite the offseason predicament after an earlier then expected departure from the playoffs following a loss at home to the Indianapolis Colts. Following the early exit and a tough loss in the Superbowl less than a year ago, the Broncos started to make changes to their team with the firing of head coach John Fox and his coaching staff. Now not only do the Broncos need to hire a new coaching staff, but they also have to decide on what direction they plan on going with the team through the re-signing of three prominent and dominating offensive players. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (arguably one of the best receivers in the NFL), tight end Julius Thomas (a year removed from a dominant season but is plagued by injuries), and quarterback Peyton Manning (aging player that is dominant throughout the regular season but has shown major question marks in the playoffs). Will the Broncos want to resign all three of these players? Can they afford to pay all three stars? All three players are in the conversation as arguably one of the best at each of their positions making it even more difficult to part ways with them.

The way I look at it, if a team feels they can replace a players production with another player on the free agency market, through a trade, or the NFL draft, for a more affordable price, then it is time to move on and part ways with the star athlete. Is their a better quarterback available then Peyton Manning? Will DeMarco Murray be able to repeat the type of season he had this year? We all saw the decline in LeSean McCoy's production from last season to this season.

This is definitely going to be an exciting offseason. All of the players mentioned will receive the mega-contracts they are seeking. The only question is, which teams are willing to give them the money they are expecting?!

Alexa Fontanella is a sophomore Sport Management Major at Drexel University, from Totowa, NJ. She is currently on a Marketing and Corporate Sponsorship Co-op with Learfield Sports Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania. Alexa will also be working with Drexel Athletics on marketing strategies and game day operations for the Drexel Dragons basketball team. She is a huge New York Sports fan, specifically the Yankees and the Nets. 

Follow Alexa on Twitter @Lexa_Font4 and connect with her on LinkedIn. 

1 comment:

  1. This is going to be huge game bro. Just rocking.
    I love NFL and my favorite team is New York Jet :)