Eagles Closing in on Bradford Deal?
(973espn.com) — Indianapolis was always going to be key when it came to whether or not Sam Bradford would spend a second year as the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Not only was Tom Condon, Bradford's agent, going to get some face time with Eagles executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman at the NFL Scouting Combine, he was also going to get an opportunity to gauge how other quarterback-needy teams viewed his client.
The results, according to two different NFL sources, have the Bradford camp realizing that the status quo is likely the best option for the veteran signal caller.
And, in an effort to finally lock things down in advance of free agency, which begins on March 9, Philadelphia has reportedly increased its offer to Bradford, according to FOX Sports' Mike Garafolo.
No numbers were given by Garafolo but it was described as a "very strong offer" by FOX. Dreams of $20 million-plus by Bradford and Condon are just that and the numbers being bandied about to 973espn.com from over a week ago ranged from $15 million up to $17M.
Speaking at the combine earlier this week, Roseman intimated that Bradford is in Philadelphia’s plans if a deal that’s agreeable to both sides can be worked out. If anything, first-year coach Doug Pederson spoke in even stronger tones.
“All I know, if Sam wants to be in Philadelphia, then he’ll be in Philadelphia,” Pederson said.
Contingency plans remain in place, however, if Condon believes there is indeed another option for Bradford to break the bank and takes the Oklahoma product into free agency.
“We do have a plan in place (if Bradford doesn’t re-sign),” Pederson said. “Obviously, I won’t get into who we’re looking at.”
Those possibilities are believed to include Chase Daniel, the backup QB Pederson had in Kansas City, and likely the third of the top trio of quarterbacks in the 2016 draft at No. 13 overall, which is shaping up as Memphis’ Paxton Lynch, who is currently rated behind Cal’s Jared Goff and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz in most scouting services.
There is also still a chance that the Los Angeles Rams could release Nick Foles at some point and put him in play fop a return to Philadelphia because Roseman drafted Foles and Pederson has always been of his biggest supporters.
“In everything you do, you have to have a backup plan, especially when you’re talking about free agency,” Roseman said. “There’s more money than there has been in the league the last couple of years. You can’t just say, ‘hey I’m going to go out in free agency and sign this particular player,’ because you’re competing with 31 other teams, so you have to have backup plans and contingency plans.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen