The Market for Eagles Quarterback Sam Bradford


There has been much ado about Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford since the 2015 season came to a close. Is it in the Philadelphia Eagles‘ best interest to re-sign the pending unrestricted free agent?

Last offseason, the Eagles acquired Bradford from the St. Louis Rams in a trade that had apparently been months in the making. The Rams received quarterback Nick Foles and a 2nd-round selection in the 2016 draft in return for their former number one overall draft pick.

Former Philadelphia head coach and short-lived personnel man Chip Kelly told reporters that once the Eagles completed the deal, an unnamed team called and offered a 1st-round draft pick for the rights to Bradford. It seemed, at one point last offseason, that Bradford was a valued piece.

Fast forward to the 2016 offseason; Bradford came off of a year in which he played less than 16 games yet again, and ultimately did not blow the doors off of the NFL. Entering his 7th season as a pro, the underachieving top pick has yet to play in a playoff game or even reach the potential that some believed was possible to this point. His value has seemingly depreciated and may whither away into the abyss with the combine kicking off this week.

The bold cries of a potential big pay day for Bradford have since turned to whispers. There are a few teams that are in need of a starting quarterback, but it isn’t likely that they’d be willing to jeopardize their financial state on an unproven veteran. The recent success of young quarterbacks such as Blake Bortles and Derek Carr makes it even more enticing to go draft a developmental project to mold your team around.

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Folks have seen the jump that these young quarterbacks have made and choose to ignore the class in which produced Jake Locker, Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert. It is very risky to bet your chips on a wide-eyed gunslinger, but that’s a story for another day. Sam Bradford’s risk is evident, but with his market value decreasing, it may be time to get a deal done.

The Eagles have spent the bulk of this offseason’s early going on extending their core players; each of them lobbying for the return of their 2015 starting quarterback. The rest of the players believe, and have stated, that they trust Bradford and have faith in a playoff run with him under center.

Safety Malcolm Jenkins, from the defensive side of the ball, has even voiced his strong support of Bradford. A leader like Jenkins could be speaking on behalf of the entire locker room, which is something to keep in mind. Bradford won the team due to his vast improvement over the 2nd half of the season, and he showed all of the leadership qualities that gave him a superior reputation.

Giving Bradford a team-friendly deal would buy the Eagles some time to sure up a deteriorating offensive line. With the emergence of tight end Zach Ertz and wide receiver Jordan Matthews, plus the untapped potential of wide receiver Nelson Agholor and running back DeMarco Murray, this offense could be poised for a breakout season with improvement along the line. Now if Bradford doesn’t work out, at least the next quarterback will find himself amongst some stability.

In 2015, small mistakes caught up to the Eagles and contributed to their underwhelming 7-9 record. However, eliminating simple mishaps could have elevated the team into the playoffs. With an improved offensive line, tailored play-calling and a more productive overall attack, it wouldn’t be tough to see the Eagles making a push for the division title upon Bradford’s return.