Bradford Remains Biggest Question For New Staff
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — In an almost laughable overreach Sam Bradford's agent, Tom Condon, has reportedly started the negotiation process for the potential free-agent quarterback at $25 million per year.
That could be the definition of chutzpah considering the now seventh-year pro has never finished with a winning record as an NFL quarterback, never mind a postseason appearance and two of his seasons were derailed with ACL injuries.
It's a tough spot for Philadelphia, though, because Bradford did play well in the second half of the 2015 season and there are hardly a plethora of alternatives on the free-agent market.
Bradford isn't getting $25 million from anyone in their right minds but a number from $18 to $20 million is likely especially when you consider a playoff team like Houston is in dire need of a legitimate option at the position.
Bradford and the Eagles' other quarterbacks headline the beginning of 973espn.com's position-by-position look at the team moving forward to the 2016 season.
Sam Bradford: Started 14 of 16 games, playing 989 snaps, 85 percent of the team's total.
Mark Sanchez: Appeared in four games and started two, playing 169 snaps, 15 percent.
Thad Lewis: Signed following Week 2 of the season, did not play.
UPCOMING FREE AGENTS:
Bradford, unrestricted; Lewis, unrestricted
BY THE NUMBERS:
In his first season in Philadelphia Bradford set franchise records in completions with 348 and completion percentage at 65.0 percent.
2016 SALARY CAP STATUS:
Sanchez is the only QB the Eagles currently have under contract and he is set to have a cap hit of $5.5 million in '16, taking up 3.57 percent of the available space.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING:
"I’m still going through the evaluation process there," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said at his introductory press conference when discussing Bradford and his status. "I think Sam's a quality quarterback; I think he's a top-notch quarterback. Look what he did the last half of the season and the numbers that he was able to put up. I feel like he's an individual, he's a quarterback that would fit perfectly into a system that I'm going to bring. And so, you know, as we evaluate, as I evaluate that position, those decisions will be made as we go."
TOP POTENTIAL FREE AGENTS:
Bradford, Kirk Cousins (likely to be franchised by Washington), Brock Osweiler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chase Daniel, Matt Schaub, Scott Tolzien, Brandon Weeden, Matt Hasselbeck, T.J. Yates, Tarvaris Jackson, Colt McCoy, Jimmy Clausen, Matt Cassel, Charlie Whitehurst.
It comes down to whether Howie Roseman and Pederson want to allocate a significant amount of the cap to Bradford, say a minimum of $18 million, or revisit the route Andy Reid took in 1999 when he brought Pederson with him from Green Bay to mentor a draft pick with a high ceiling in Donovan McNabb.
If you commit to Bradford that will harm your ability to build the back end of the roster and if Pederson decides to use Sanchez as a tutor (extremely unlikely) or say bring in Chase Daniel, who he has a history with in Kansas City, to tutor a Paxton Lynch or a Carson Wentz, who could be taken with the No. 13 overall selection in the draft, it's a signal that the Eagles are shifting into rebuilding mode.
And there is a small opportunity to take that latter path by spinning the narrative that a new coach is cleaning up the mess Chip Kelly left behind.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen