Even players have jumped into the fray, with Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy writing on Twitter that sought-after linebacker Curtis Lofton was going to the Eagles, only for the notion to be quickly shot down by league sources.
The instantaneous reporting that so many fans and writers now rely on has seemed to develop a demand by some for instantaneous action - no matter how well thought out.
"Do the Jets intend to sign a receiver this offseason?" one panicky tweeter asked a New York writer. "What's taking Cowboys so long to sign Carr?" another fan wrote to an ESPN scribe. An Eagles fan questioned, "With the offseason the Eagles are having so far, think they can still contend?"
Mind you, these questions arrived less than six hours after the start of free agency and still more than four months before training camps open. They likely (or hopefully) represent only a small but vocal group of NFL fans, but they encapsulate the March madness that gripped sports fans even before a single bracket got busted.
Amid the chaos, the Eagles have been an example of calm, patience, and reserve. At least so far. This is from a team that in recent off-seasons traded a franchise icon to a long-standing rival and then set free agency on fire.
Now? They have re-signed four of their own players, including one surprise - a quick deal for DeSean Jackson - but at a completely sane price, at least from the team's perspective. Considering they haven't added a single new piece, it has been a strong opening to free agency for the Eagles, marked most recently by fending off the Ravens and bringing back guard Evan Mathis on Saturday.
They still need a linebacker and depth at running back, but with action at both positions moving slowly and many options still around, the team has sat back and waited for the market to set, rather than diving in and overpaying early.
In other words, it has been quiet, for once. Which might mean the team has something stunning ready to spring, or that the Eagles for once will tread quietly this offseason and save the drama for the games. In re-signing Jackson the Eagles finally put to rest their thorniest personnel issue and extensions for Trent Cole and Todd Herremans, along with Mathis' new contract, assure stability on the team's two lines.
If it can secure an extension for LeSean McCoy, the team can focus on adding a few targeted veterans and then drafting new talent, quietly and without theatrics. Maybe.
After all, the offseason shopping period is still less than a week old. Not everything happens instantly, and when it comes to the potential for the unexpected, well, there's a reason we call them "surprises."
Contact Jonathan Tamari
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