NFL has one of its biggest moving days

Trades overshadow signings on first day NFL teams can officially make deals with free agents

On a day when the NFL's free agents were officially allowed to test the market, it was a different kind of "Let's Make a Deal" that stole the spotlight.

It was a dizzying flurry of trades Tuesday that refashioned pro football's landscape, with star tight end Jimmy Graham going from New Orleans to Seattle, Baltimore shipping All-Pro defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to Detroit, and Philadelphia and St. Louis pulling off a swap of pocket passers — the Eagles getting Sam Bradford in exchange for Nick Foles.

Late Tuesday, Darrelle Revis, among the league's best cornerbacks, left the New England Patriots and returned to the New York Jets, the team that drafted him.

Revis' agents announced the news on Twitter, with the Patriots clearing his way to leave by declining his $12.5-million roster bonus and thereby making him a free agent. He spent his first six seasons with the Jets before being traded to Tampa Bay in 2013, then spending last season with New England, where he was a key component to the Patriots' Super Bowl run.

There were other newsworthy moves too, with former San Francisco running back Frank Gore winding up in Indianapolis, former Green Bay linebacker A.J. Hawk signing with Cincinnati, former Oakland safety Tyvon Branch going to Kansas City, and former Baltimore tight end Owen Daniels landing in Denver. The Broncos' signing fills a vacancy left by Julius Thomas, one of Peyton Manning's favorite targets, who signed with Jacksonville. Former Patriots running back Shane Vereen signed with the New York Giants.

Among other high-profile departures, Carolina released longtime running back DeAngelo Williams, and Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker, the No. 8 pick in 2011, opted to retire when it was clear the Titans weren't going to re-sign him.

For the Seahawks, they traded a trusted blocker — they gave up center Max Unger and a first-round pick — and got a blockbuster in the 6-foot-7 Graham, among the league's most dangerous receiving threats.

"We think he's a fantastic target that we can implement in a number of ways," said Seattle Coach Pete Carroll, whose team also got a fourth-round pick from the Saints. "I think all the ways we've come to understand is pretty clear — he's a big receiver, plays big, makes plays in a crowd, makes plays on top of guys, is a very effective player in the red zone, he's been a consistent scorer."

While Graham being shipped to the two-time defending NFC champions was a head-spinner, the quarterback shuffle between the Rams and Eagles was more of a head-scratcher. Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, has played only 16 games in two of his five seasons and sat out all of 2014 recovering from his second torn knee ligament since 2013. Foles too is coming off a significant injury, having missed the second half of last season with a broken collarbone.

Although not officially announced, the Eagles and quarterback Mark Sanchez have agreed to a two-year deal, and it was increasingly obvious Foles wasn't in their plans. There is widespread speculation the Eagles will try to trade up for Oregon's Marcus Mariota in next month's draft, but the addition of Bradford could change that equation. The Eagles also added former Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell.

Detroit lost star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to Miami, but the Lions didn't wait long to fill that vacancy. They traded picks in the fourth and fifth rounds for Ngata, a five-time All-Pro for the Ravens. Baltimore was unable to work out a contract extension with him and couldn't abide the $16 million of salary-cap space he required.

In the last nine seasons, Ngata has collected 528 tackles, 25 1/2 sacks, five interceptions, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

Arizona made a couple of noteworthy moves, signing All-Pro guard Mike Iupati, a former fixture on San Francisco's offensive line, and adding linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who spent last season with Oakland but missed most of the year with a biceps injury.

Some of Tuesday's transactions were expected, and needed only to be formalized. The trade between Philadelphia and Buffalo went through, with the Eagles swapping running back LeSean McCoy for linebacker Kiko Alonso. The Jets completed their trade with Chicago for receiver Brandon Marshall in exchange for a fifth-round pick, and released receiver Percy Harvin.

Twitter: @LATimesfarmer

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