The biggest offseason question for the Philadelphia Eagles was answered today around 4pm, when the announcement of Sam Bradford’s 2 year contract came. Philadelphia invested $26 million guaranteed in Bradford, and potentially as much as $36 million. Eagles Twitter seemed divided on the move:
Ultimately not a fan. https://t.co/1akt2IjA2U
— John Cole (@John__Cole) March 1, 2016
Sam Bradford isnt good enough or worth that much money. His agent must be pretty damn good.
— Robert Lee Zenoni (@Majuub_TI) March 1, 2016
There's been no better time to be an average QB in the NFL.
— Donté Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) March 1, 2016
Glad it's only 2 years and not more for Bradford. Use him until something better comes along I guess.
— Ryan Jackson (@28BlackIce) March 1, 2016
@sethjoyner so what would you have done? For two years as a "bridge" player I don't mind Bradford at all
— Sarah Baicker (@sbaickerTCN) March 1, 2016
Inherently, when you don’t have an elite top-3 QB in the league, any decision regarding the most important position on the field will be a polarizing one. In my opinion, the Eagles played their cards well and ended up getting Bradford at a solid overall value. Remember a few short weeks ago when many, including me, thought that Bradford could command upwards of $20 million per year over the course of 4-5 years on the open market?
That market clearly wasn’t there for Bradford, and that’s certainly a sign of his true worth amongst executives across the league. It seems that teams were understandably hesitant about investing $60 million guaranteed in a quarterback with a history of injuries and losing seasons. That being said, the Eagles didn’t invest $60 million in Bradford either.
Roseman and the rest of the Eagles’ front office understand that Bradford has many flaws to his game. He can be wildly varying in accuracy from week to week. He doesn’t always have the best pocket awareness, which makes his lack of mobility even more detrimental. He’s never won more than 7 games in a season.
To his defense, Bradford also has had a revolving door of head coaches and offensive coordinators in his career. He has never really had top tier talent around him on offense either. He also is coming off of the highest completion percentage of his career at 65%, thats 4.7% higher than his second best season cmp%. Some of that can be attributed to Chip Kelly’s short throw based offense, but Bradford also overcame having receivers who collectively dropped the most passed in 2015 (36 or 37 last year depending on the site). Another aspect of the offense that must be factored in when evaluating Bradford is the remarkably poor offensive line play last year.
This contract allows the Eagles to accomplish two things: have a relatively reasonable chance at making the playoffs this upcoming season and, worst case, use Bradford as an overpaid stop gap so a rookie QB can learn the NFL from the sidelines.
Bradford gets fully secured $22M, $2M more than Tag w/playoff upside. Eagles get 2nd year option with $4M risk, another $4M if major injury.
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) March 2, 2016
According to ESPN’s Andrew Brandt, Bradford’s deal is basically a franchise tag value, except this scenario allows the Eagles more cap space than if they actually franchised him. Also the deal comes with a very cheap out for the Eagles in the second year. What’s wrong with that?
Many fans have the mindset that Bradford will be nothing more than a transitional player, and there is evidence that backs up that belief. On the contrary, in this situation, is it really that insane to think that Bradford could actually earn the money in his new contract? He is now allowed to audible at the line after reading the defense, and his head coach is a former quarterback. For a cerebral player like Bradford, simply being able to audible at the line of scrimmage could lead to a step up in performance in 2016.
– David Hennessey
@DavidHenessey_ on Twitter.