The Philadelphia Eagles officially have their man. While the deal was already rumored to be finalized, the Eagles could not make things official until the Kansas City Chiefs were out of the playoffs. With the loss to the New England Patriots, Doug Pederson now takes over in Philly with a lot of work ahead of him. As the Eagles are in need of a bounce back year, what moves take priority for the new head coach?
According to ESPN's Phil Sheridan, Pederson has officially been announced as the new head coach. The team will now begin to iron out their coordinator positions before beginning an evaluation of the roster. Pederson was first the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs and can be credited for helping turn that offense around. The Eagles are hopeful that he can bring the same success to Philadelphia and it starts with getting Sam Bradford back under contract for next season.
It is unclear whether or not Bradford's return is a total priority for the Eagles or not. According to Philly.com's Jeff McLane, the quarterback market is weak and Bradford might be the best option available. There is no one ready to carry a franchise in the NFL Draft. The free agent market has little to offer. Bradford is the best there is whether fans like it or not. The Eagles will explore their options first and it could get interesting as people are split over whether or not the quarterback should stay put.
According to the PhillyVoice.com, the idea of trying to tag and trade Bradford could be an option. Spotrac.com reports the quarterback is worth a deal of upwards of $20 million. If the Eagles do not sign Bradford, he will get plenty of attention on the free agent market which is why trying to get some kind of compensation for him could be a priority. Bradford has value and while a tag and trade scenario is a long-shot idea, it is an option. If the Eagles do not feel they will be immediate Super Bowl contenders in 2015, being patient for the right quarterback could help them in the long run.
If the Eagles were to trade Bradford, they could then draft someone like Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch or Carson Wentz to groom for the future. They can then either use Mark Sanchez as a stop-gap quarterback or grab another strong veteran to help with the transition. The team has options and not all of them include shelling out money to Bradford.
The quarterback is not the only issue for the Eagles and Pederson. He must determine who stays and goes with the running back rotation. Contractually, DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews will stay put as Darren Sproles has put in a request to return. Riley Cooper might suffer the same fate as Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz are the future of the position.