The Philadelphia Eagles gave Chase Daniel a whole lot of money despite him being the apparent “backup” quarterback on the team.
I know the actual deal is old news, but I think it’s important to take a look at the details of the contract and compare it to other backup QBs in the league to see if he was overpaid, or if Doug Pederson has other things in mind for the quarterback.
Daniel’s three-year deal was for $21 million, and according to Over the Cap, the first year carries a $5 million cap hit, while the next two years both have an $8 million cap hit. Already at $5 million he’s one of the highest paid backup QBs in the league, but at $8 million he’ll surely be one of the top paid backups, if not the highest. That is, of course, assuming he doesn’t eventually take over Sam Bradford for the starting job, but I’m not going to suggest a quarterback controversy before he’s played a down of football for the Eagles. The Eagles have had enough QB drama over the years, the last thing they need is another made-up controversy at the position.
However, the large amount of money Daniel received is still worth noting. Based on the current cap hits of quarterbacks for 2016, Daniel will be the 28th highest paid quarterback in the league (Bradford is 20th, for reference). That means that Daniel will even be getting more money than some eventual starters. Of course, this doesn’t include the rookies that are likely to be drafted in the first round such as Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Paxton Lynch, some of whom may end up making more money in 2016 than Daniel depending on where they’re picked. However, it shows it’s still a significant investment for a backup quarterback.
Based on teams’ current rosters and quarterback situations, not taking into account potential rookies they might draft, Daniel is currently the second highest paid backup at his position. The only person ahead of him? Nick Foles, the former Eagle who lost his job to Case Keenum last year and seems to have lost it for next year too after the Rams announced they expect Keenum to be the starter in Week 1. Foles is due $8.75 million this upcoming year, a very high amount for a guy who I’m sure the Rams are hoping never actually plays.
I figured the point of signing Daniel was to save some money at the position by then choosing to cut or trade Mark Sanchez. Well, Sanchez was originally due $5.5 million, just slightly more than Daniel is making this year (Sanchez’s actual cap hit after the trade is just $4.5 million for the Broncos since the Eagles are paying the other $1 million). To me, this seems like a strange move to give Daniel so much money.
In 2017, when Daniel’s contract jumps to $8 million, he moves to the 21st highest paid QB (at the moment), still sitting at No. 2 among highest paid backup QBs. Yes, unfortunately for the Rams, Foles’ contract goes up to $13.25 million in 2017, but I doubt he actually earns that because the team can save most of that by cutting him. And there’s even a chance the Rams decide to trade Foles, which would save them $6.75 million in 2016 (although I’m not sure what team would pay that much for Foles). If this were to happen, it would make Daniel the highest paid backup QB in 2016 and likely 2017, assuming Bradford remains the starter.
It will be interesting to see how Daniel looks, but for how little he’s played over his career, I find it hard to believe he’ll be worth this contract unless he shocks people and somehow becomes the starter.