So far this offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles have done a good job of resigning their own. Howie Roseman has extended TEs Zach Ertz and Brent Celek, while also signing tackle Lane Johnson to a contract through the 2021 season. All three of these contracts were negotiated well by the Eagles, and should prove to be cap friendly. The biggest question of the offseason still remains, what will the Eagles do at the quarterback position? Here are their 5 options as I see it:
1) Extend Bradford to a 4 or 5 year deal
Positives: Lock up a potential franchise QB long term, and have continuity at the QB position leading into next season. Eagles players have been supportive of Bradford, and WR Jordan Mathews went as far as to say, “I know that’s going to be my guy, and I want him to be my guy, and I wholeheartedly believe he has to be the guy moving forward.” (from CSN Philly)
Negatives: Bradford will command a HUGE contract. He ended the season on a high note, and the QB market is high as always. If the Eagles chose this option, expect to see Bradford making between $20-25 million per year. Thats a lot of cap space to set aside for a player with Sam Bradford’s extensive injury history.
2) Use the franchise tag on Bradford
Positives: The Eagles get another year of Sam Bradford to prove, or disprove his worth as a long term QB. Many argue Bradford’s relative value among QB’s in the league, and watching him lead the Eagles for another year would help to make the decision on whether or not he is a true franchise quarterback. Also, the Eagles could potentially franchise and then trade Bradford, therefore getting some value back for the 2nd round pick they sent to St. Louis in order to acquire him in 2015.
Negatives: The Eagles would have to pay Bradford the average of the top 5 salaries at the QB position as of April. This in itself would be a big cap hit for one year, and nothing would stop Bradford from playing out his franchised year as an Eagle and then signing somewhere else. If this scenario unfolded, you could argue that franchising him at all was a waste of time and money.
3) Don’t re-sign Bradford, Draft a QB at pick #13
Positives: New head coach, rookie QB…sound familiar? Doug Pederson and a rookie quarterback could be a nice fresh start for the franchise. If the Eagles go this route, they would likely be picking Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State, as Jared Goff and Paxton Lynch are anticipated to be off the board by the time the Eagles are on the clock.
Negatives: There is absolutely no guarantee that Wentz will still be available at #13. This past week Carson Wentz impressed many at the Senior Bowl, and national experts are saying he’s put himself right up there with Goff and Lynch. How many times have we seen teams reaching early in the draft for quarterbacks? There is a solid chance that none of the three top QB prospects will be there at pick 13. Additionally the Eagles don’t have a second round pick to get one of the later QB prospects.
4) Sign a QB in Free Agency
Positives: I’m stumped on this one, as the QB free agency class is basically non-existent. Leading the clubhouse are Kirk Cousins, Brock Osweiler, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chase Daniel. Additionally, Cousins and Fitzpatrick are both expected to be retained by their respective teams. The best way this option could end up being positive for the Eagles, is if they coupled this with drafting a QB in the first round. Theoretically they could sign Chase Daniel to a 3-year deal, have Wentz sit out a year and then start the 2017-2018 season.
Negatives: The options. Per usual there aren’t many capable quarterbacks that can be found in free agency. I’m hard pressed to find a way that simply signing one of these available QBs could be a long term solution for the Eagles.
5) Roll with Mark Sanchez
Positives: Pretty much the same as #4 above. The only way this really works for the Eagles is if they draft a quarterback and have him learn under Sanchez for some time before starting.
Negatives: It’s Mark Sanchez. If you wanted to, you could put a solid amount of the blame for Chip’s firing on his shoulders. He started the Tampa Bay and Detroit losses, which the Eagles fell by an combined score of 90-31. After those two games, fans were jumping off of the Chip bandwagon as fast as they possibly could.
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