Eagles See Super Bowl Odds Bump as Free Agency Opens

One of the best rivalries in the NFL is more fierce and bitter than ever now that the league’s leading rusher DeMarco Murray has switched sides from the defending NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys to the Philadelphia Eagles in a crazy turn of events during the first week of free agency.
This after Philadelphia swung a major trade for St. Louis Rams quarterback and former No. 1 overall selection Sam Bradford, sending QB Nick Foles and a future draft pick to them in return.
Bradford and Murray are former roommates who played together in college for the Oklahoma Sooners, with the former campaigning head coach Chip Kelly for the latter to join the team as soon as he arrived.
Surprisingly, the odds have not shifted as much in Philly’s favor as bettors may think, with the Eagles moving from 22/1 to win the 2016 Super Bowl down to 20/1 and the Cowboys going from 12/1 up to 14/1 without a RB.
Keep in mind, the dominos started falling at RB for Philadelphia when Kelly worked a deal with the Buffalo Bills to send 2013 NFL rushing champ LeSean McCoy there in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso. Kelly had Alonso as his leading tackler when they were both at Oregon and before he went on to win Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in Buffalo.
Coming off a torn ACL in 2014, Alonso figures to be the heart and soul of a new-look Eagles defense that also includes free agent cornerbacks Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell from the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks.
Former San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore was expected to take McCoy’s place until he changed his mind and ended up signing with the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent.
Philadelphia added former San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews as well, bolstering the team’s offensive backfield even more. Meanwhile, Dallas may opt to draft a RB early this year to replace Murray since the best backs that were available are off the market.
Speaking of Gore, Bradford and Murray are not the only set of college teammates reunited in the NFL recently. The Colts inked former Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson, signing one former Miami Hurricane to replace another in Reggie Wayne.
Gore and Johnson were members of the same 2001 Miami team that won the national championship, and the addition of both players to help out QB Andrew Luck has bumped Indy from 14/1 to win Super Bowl 50 up to 9/1.
Another major trade that kicked off the free-agency period was the New Orleans Saints sending All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham to the Seahawks for center Max Unger and a first-round draft pick. Seattle saw its stock rise slightly from 11/2 to 5/1 to win the 2016 Super Bowl while New Orleans dropped from 25/1 down to 33/1 following the move.
Finally, the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots did not go unscathed through the first week of free agency, losing starting CBs Darrelle Revis (New York Jets) and Brandon Browner (Saints).
Revis decided to go back to the team that drafted him for more money and Browner simply took a better deal than New England could offer. Regardless, the Patriots did not see their odds to repeat change, staying at 6/1.