Philadelphia Eagles Rumors: Mark Sanchez, Riley Cooper Released for Sam Bradford Contract After Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson, Vinny Curry Deals?

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Feb 04, 2016 10:54 AM EST
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Mark Sanchez
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez directs the offense against the Pittsburgh Steelers."

The Philadelphia Eagles are starting to spend money early. With the official offseason having yet to begin, the team is trying to retain some of their in-house talent before players have a chance to hit the open market. With a new coaching staff in place, Howie Roseman is trying to get certain contracts out of the way early, but will it hurt their salary cap when it comes to keeping Sam Bradford?

Already this offseason, the Eagles have re-signed Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, Brent Celek and Vinny Curry to long-term extensions. That has added some weight onto their salary cap as they have over $7 million in adjustments carried over from this year. That makes things a little tight as the team needs to sign a few other players, mainly Bradford, but Roseman stressed there is plenty of money left to go around.

"Yes," Roseman said, via CSNPhilly.com. "Yes, we have the flexibility to sign other players. Obviously, there's a limitation to how much you can do, the totality of it, but we do have room and we do still have flexibility. We'll have the flexibility to make decisions on players here. Can we [sign] five or six guys? Those are high numbers. Historically, teams can pay somewhere between 10 or 11 guys [large contracts]."

The biggest move the Eagles have left to make outside of Fletcher Cox is Bradford and it will not come cheap. According to Spotrac.com, the quarterback could command a deal worth upwards of $25 million something Bradford is well aware of. The quarterback intends to get his money after proving he can still play following back-to-back ACL injuries. However, the Eagles do not seem too keen on handing out that money to a player with a limited sample size of success. Jeff McLane of Philly.com reports that a franchise tag could be headed Bradford's way, but the Eagles will try and take precaution by releasing certain veterans to help with cap space.

CSNPhilly.com reports that Mark Sanchez will likely be out this offseason along with Riley Cooper and potentially Darren Sproles. Releasing Sanchez could be risky. If the Eagles let the quarterback go, do not sign Bradford and draft a rookie, they have to hope the draft picks develops right away. The free agent market will have some cheap veterans the Eagles could sign, but if Sanchez is not too much of a burden to retain then the team should keep him.

Sproles is a tricky situation as well. The versatile running back has one year left on his current contract. He has requested to stay with the Eagles. According to CBSSports.com, the Eagles would rather try to trade Sproles than out-right release him. If the team cannot strike a deal with someone, Sproles could stay on.

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