Everybody Wins in Nigel Bradham Deal
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Everybody wins.
That, more than anything, describes the new "five-year, $40 million" deal Nigel Bradham signed with the Super Bowl champion Eagles earlier this week.
Jim Schwartz gets one of his favorites back on his defense, Bradham's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, gets to toss around the $40-million tag and the player himself is secure in the knowledge that the Eagles rewarded his integral part in the franchise's run to its first Lombardi Trophy.
Howie Roseman, meanwhile, could kick back and rest assured that he locked up a player he wanted to a team-friendly deal which essentially equates to a two-year commitment with three team options.
There were some tense times, however, when the legal negotiating period kicked in as evidenced by what happened with Patrick Robinson. The Eagles wanted their star slot cornerback to return as well and Robinson himself was amenable to that until the New Orleans Saints swooped in and offered up more guaranteed money.
In Bradham's case, an NFL source told 973espn.com that at least five teams checked in on the veteran and Rosenhaus himself pegged that number at eight or 10.
Whatever the real number was there was significant interest elsewhere in a player who turned on a dime from being Philadelphia's intimidator in the front seven to its cerebral leader once Jordan Hicks was sidelined with a ruptured Achilles.
That kind of versatility isn't lost on a league where 11 personnel has taken over and finding two three-down LBs is essential to any defense's success.
“It came to the last day," Bradham admitted when discussing his new deal with reporters at the NovaCare Complex on Thursday. "... For me, it’s rare that guys get that close [to leaving] and be able to come back to their team, so I’m very fortunate and thankful that I was able to do that.”
Roseman likely felt triangulated a bit on this one.
Rosenhaus on one side pounding the figurative table with what Bradham meant to the Super Bowl champs and Schwartz at the other talking up the guy on this defense who has been with him longer than any other, dating back to their days together in Buffalo.
“It factored, obviously,” Bradham said of his relationship with the Schwartz. “... he brought me here in the first place, and for me, having the opportunity to stay with him for some time is going to be amazing.”
So Roseman kept Bradham in the loop as he navigated a tricky salary-cap situation.
“Howie told me that [Bradham was his top priority in free agency], himself, during the exit meeting," Bradham explained. "I just kept confidence in him. I kept trusting him. He’s a man of his word, he’s always been a man of his word."
And that word turned into a $5M signing bonus and $14M guaranteed for Bradham.
"Obviously, I was nervous about it, but I’m fortunate that I was able to be able to stay here and come back here," Bradham said. "We’ve built so much here, and the chemistry of what we have."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen