Eagles Trade Sanchez to SB Champs
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — The Eagles traded a quarterback to Denver on Friday but it wasn't Sam Bradford.
Eagles executive VP of football operation Howie Roseman pulled off another minor miracle, sending Mark Sanchez a mile high to the Super Bowl champions. The deal is for a conditional 2017 draft choice, no doubt related to playing time and production.
From an Eagles' perspective, like the Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray deals, this was about money.
With Bradford earmarked as the No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart and Chase Daniel now penciled in at No. 2, Philadelphia had no more use for Sanchez and by releasing the veteran the Eagles would have regained only $3.5 million of his $4.5 cap number. By getting someone to bite and take Sanchez on, however, Roseman frees up the full $4.5 million.
Denver has already lost Peyton Manning to retirement and Brock Osweiler in free agency to a big-money deal in Houston this offseason so as we sit here on March 11, Sanchez would be in charge of the Super Bowl 50 champs. However, the Southern Cal product's acquisition does not mean the Broncoss have stopped looking at other options.
Denver is still intent on trying to acquire San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick with Robert Griffin III and Ryan Fitzpatrick serving as potential Plan B options.
Signed by the Eagles as a free agent in 2014, Sanchez started 10-of-13 games played in his two seasons with the club, completing 257-of-400 passes (64.3 percent) for 3,034 yards with 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions and an 86.6 passer rating. He set a franchise record with a 64.1 completion percentage (198-of-309) in '14, since broken by Bradford last season, while throwing for at least 300 yards in four of his eight starts.
The Eagles also moved on from another remnant from the Chip Kelly era Friday, releasing rangy 3-4 defensive end Brandon Bair.
The 6-foot-7 Bair, a natural five-technique, never had a chance with the move back to a 4-3 and his release will save the Eagles $725,000 toward the 2016 salary cap.
Yet another Oregon product, the 31-year-old Bair finished his two-year career in Philadelphia having played in 21 games (two starts) and amassing 20 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
Bair was a big part of Bill Davis' defensive line rotation in '14, playing in all 16 games but he lost his spot to the pedestrian Taylor Hart, another former Oregon player, last year, playing in just 92 defensive snaps all season and not dressing for the final 12 games.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen