A change in the head coaching position doesn’t mean a switch at quarterback to, as it seems the Philadelphia Eagles are going to try and re-sign Sam Bradford despite a less than impressive first season with the team.
The Eagles new head coach, Doug Pederson, sounded as if there’s no question about it: Bradford should stay. He praised Bradford a number of times about his quality and his ability in the second half of the season, but mostly mentioned how good of a fit he is with the system Pederson plans on bringing in. In his last seven games of the season, Bradford posted a 97.0 passer rating, completed 68.2% of his passes while throwing 10 touchdown passes and four interceptions. It didn’t help the Eagles finish better than 7-9, missing the playoffs for a second straight year, which got Chip Kelly fired.
Bradford can be signed or maybe the Eagles use the franchise tag on him, although it sounds a little bit of a reach for Bradford to get paid like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He said after the regular season was over that he’s considering staying with the Eagles, although it does depend on who is hired as the next head coach. He endorses Pederson once the hiring was made public, so is it now just a matter of the agent and the team finding the right numbers to sign on?
Bradford made $13.9 million last season, the last on the deal he signed when he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2010. Using the franchise tag on him means paying him over $20 million in 2016, which doesn’t sound like something the Eagles would be too eager to do. The priority of this team, now that there’s a new head coach and soon a new offensive coordinator, is settling on a franchise quarterback. But how much is Bradford worth with that kind of label on him?
There’s been talk about Pat Shurmur, who was the interim head coach on the final game of the season after Kelly was fired, staying as the offensive coordinator. Bradford wasn’t given a lot of freedom by Kelly to “freestyle” at the line of scrimmage during the season, but with Shurmur calling the plays on the final game of the season, Bradford probably gave his best performance. But judging a player just by one final game isn’t a smart thing to do. Just ask Matt Flynn, or more accurately those who signed Flynn after his Packers finale in 2011, about making too much of just one game.