There have been rumors swirling that some Philadelphia Eagles players will not stick around to see the new head coach.
It’s safe to say that it’s been a tumultuous year for the Philadelphia Eagles. A team with such high expectations during the preseason, the Eagles were off to a difficult start and only seemed to find their rhythm in the latter half of the year. Sam Bradford couldn’t find a way to get comfortable in the pocket and by the time he did, the Eagles’ season was over. Rumors have been swirling over who would take over the Eagles’ vacant head coaching position and while it might be far from certain, it’ll be a much welcome change.
However, there are also rumors swirling that some players Kelly brought to the team might not stick around to see who will be at the helm. These losses might be detrimental and spell a whole new set of problems for the team.
Walter Thurmond has been a contributing force for the Eagles. He’s picked off four passes this season, a great number for what would be an okay effort for the secondary. He was playing a mix of safety and cornerback which is a huge asset for any team in the NFL. He proved that Seattle’s defensive players aren’t just good when they’re in the line, they’re good on their own. Thurmond is good and the Eagles know that losing him would put the team in a sore spot. He was able to stay healthy and started all of the Eagles’ 16 games this season. That’s more than his previous three seasons, but it might not be enough for him to stay with the team.
It’s not because he didn’t perform that the team wouldn’t be able to keep him around, but it’s a financial issue. There isn’t enough room in the salary cap to keep him. If Sam Bradford goes, there might be a chance to keep him. According to the Delaware County Times, the team only has $17 million in their salary cap and Thurmond would want more than the $3.25 million he earned this year. It will be rough to see him go if the team can’t make him a worthwhile offer.
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One name that garners buzz is Riley Cooper. From his controversial remarks to his behavior on the field, he’s been almost a household name to Eagles fans. Yet it might be the last time that he appear in a team uniform. Former head coach Chip Kelly went to bat for Cooper after was recorded in a video using a racial slur. It doesn’t seem like it was worth it as Cooper has sorely disappointed in recent years. Cooper finished this season with only 21 catches for 327 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers only account for the games that he had catches in. There were seven games this season where he has zero, which is big enough of an issue to warrant him not returning next season. The $4.5 million that Cooper is owed next year isn’t guaranteed to him and that could give him reason to walk. Cooper tried to prove that he’s worth it but if the new head coach wants to bring in his own guys, Cooper’s time as an Eagle might be limited.
There is no one under more scrutiny that Sam Bradford. He was brought over from St. Louis by Chip Kelly in exchange for Nick Foles. Largely criticized at the time, there are some who think Foles could’ve done a better job than Bradford. Yet Bradford was Kelly’s man and it took some time for him to fit in and it looked like he wasn’t confident that he could work within the Eagles’ system. After Kelly’s departure, it is unclear what will become of Bradford. He could become the franchise quarterback for the new head coach if the Eagles find enough cap space to keep him around. There are a lot of other quarterback positions up for grabs and he could just head towards free agency.
Reports have swirled that he isn’t a fan of the City of Brotherly Love anyway and would rather head somewhere else. However, there are options for the Eagles if they want to retain Bradford. If they give him a transition or franchise tag, it might give him an incentive to stay. A long-term contract would also be a tool in the Eagles’ arsenal. Bradford hasn’t been as injury prone in Philly as he was in St.Louis but he also hasn’t perfumed at a level that could warrant a franchise tag. Yet his injury record will follow him wherever he goes and if the Eagles signed him to a long-term deal and another big injury occurred, it would be a disaster for the team. It might be the best for the Eagles to cut tie with Bradford and see who a new head coach can bring in. Either way, it wouldn’t be wise to bet that Bradford will be around with the Eagles in 2016.
The offseason is going to bring some interesting changes and it’s anyone’s guess where things will go from here.