Eagles and Sam Bradford Agree to 2-Year Deal
The Philadelphia Eagles figure to have some stability under center going into rookie head coach Doug Pederson’s first season. Per reports, the team has agreed to terms on a new two-year deal with last year’s starting quarterback, Sam Bradford.
Philadelphia had been open publicly about their interest in bringing Bradford back, but their interest seemed somewhat lukewarm on the surface. With Bradford initially seeking huge money and a safer, longer deal, many expected Bradford to test the free agency waters.
The Eagles’ interest turned out to be quite sincere, while the two sides decided not to let Bradford hit the open market, after all. Bradford will return for two years with the new contract, which is good for $36 million over the next two seasons, and includes $22 million in guaranteed money.
It’s a strong investment for a player who missed the better half of two straight seasons with torn ACLs in 2013 and 2014 and struggled mightily with consistency in his only season in the City of Brotherly Love in 2015.
Pederson and co. saw enough in Bradford that they liked, however, as Bradford did battle a new system and a good amount of rust to put up over 3,700 passing yards and 19 touchdowns against just 14 interceptions. Bradford also initially had the Eagles in the playoff mix and fighting for an NFC East title before crumbling down the stretch.
It’s difficult to put much blame on Bradford, as former head coach Chip Kelly made numerous decisions that ultimately led to a complete unraveling in Philly, while it was understandably a rough ride in his first full season as a starter after missing all of 2014 and most of 2013 with knee injuries.
While Bradford didn’t do much to calm concerns of him being a bust as a former #1 overall pick back in 2010, all things considered, he didn’t do that bad with a new team and system. With Pederson calling the shots and running a more balanced system that should cater to Bradford’s strengths and demand a little less of him, it remains very possible that the Eagles locked up a stable passer for the next two seasons.
The deal will keep Bradford in Philadelphia through his age 30 season, and if all goes well, the two sides can work to come together on a long-term deal in 2019. For now, the Eagles can move forward and try to progress within a new system with Bradford, while the 2016 NFL Draft could offer them a chance to take a stab at a falling quarterback prospect. Depending on how things shake out, someone like Paxton Lynch or Connor Cook could tumble out of the first round and be rather appealing in round two or three.
The Eagles were on the brink of the playoffs in a bad division a year ago and naturally could be improving by default with the exit of Kelly. With Pederson running a more stable environment and a more traditional offense, and Bradford managing the game, the Eagles may be able to start thinking about returning to post-season play as early as 2016.
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