Sam Bradford is one of the most popular storylines of the offseason so far as he prepares to be the best quarterback on the free agent market. The Philadelphia Eagles have yet to decide if they really intend to let him get there as they try to figure out the best route to take the quarterback position in 2016. With Bradford preparing to command a lot of money in a new contract, will the Eagles let him walk for a rookie quarterback or try to keep him on the roster for at least another year?
According to Jeff McLane of Philly.com, bringing back Bradford is the favored move for the Eagles considering the lack of guaranteed talent in the NFL Draft. There is not a consensus top quarterback coming into the NFL. There is no Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston in the prospect pool that could start right away and carry a franchise. That puts the Eagles in a tough spot for their quarterback position since they cannot bank on putting their top draft pick under center if Bradford leaves.
According to NJ.com, the Eagles did meet with options during Senior Bowl week. Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott, Jake Coker and Kevin Hogan all met with Eagles officials, but are they better than Bradford? McLane believes the Eagles will try to negotiate a contract with Bradford, but that a franchise tag of $20 million will be the likely end result. Philadelphia is understandably hesitant to give Bradford a long-term deal. Keeping him for one more season might be better than hoping a rookie can step in under center.
The Bradford fan club is growing. Head coach Doug Pederson has voice his praise for the quarterback. Jordan Matthews made it clear he wants Bradford back while Zach Ertz echoed that. Lane Johnson is now making it clear that Bradford is the best quarterback option after he signed a new long-term contract.
"I definitely want him to say," Johnson said, via NJ.com. "If you look at the last part of the year, Sam was doing really well. Completing a lot of passes and getting comfortable. Him staying here, him being familiar with the players, I think that would really help us out."
The Eagles have the upper hand with the quarterback since they have the franchise tag in their back pocket. Bradford was reportedly commanding $25 million a season in his new contract which will not happen by the Eagles or any team for that matter. While the quarterback came on strong in the second half of the season, he struggled at the start and has yet to really show he can be an elite option. a franchise tag might be his best bet moving forward.