The Philadelphia Eagles made a blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Browns Wednesday to acquire the second overall pick in the upcoming draft scheduled to commence on April 28. The consensus belief is that the Eagles will select a quarterback at number two and, with the Los Angeles Rams expected to take Jared Goff, that leaves the Eagles with the second quarterback prospect in Carson Wentz.
There are many issues with Philadelphia’s trade, but one of the most prevalent is that they already have enormous financial commitments to two players at the quarterback position. Incumbent starter Sam Bradford just signed a new contract with the Eagles this offseason for $36 million ($22 million guaranteed) over the next two seasons while the team made Chase Daniel one of the highest paid backups in the league with a three year, $21 million contract ($12 million guaranteed).
Bradford was understandably miffed at the trade, even though GM Howie Roseman claims he will still be the team’s starting quarterback. “Let me be clear,” Roseman declared, “Sam Bradford is our starting quarterback.”
Most people have been following sports long enough to realize most of the words uttered by owners, general managers, coaches and sometimes players must be taken with a grain of salt. So with the rumors Bradford will soon ask for a trade, what is his market?
The former number one overall pick in 2010, Bradford has definite talent, but has struggled with injuries throughout his career. He tore his ACL after playing only seven games in 2013 and later reinjured his knee to miss the entire 2014 season. He has never thrown for 4,000 yards, with his career high of 3,725 coming last year with Philadelphia, and his career high in touchdowns is 21.
The two likeliest suitors at this point would be the New York Jets and Denver Broncos. The Jets were working on a deal to bring back Ryan Fitzpatrick, but have struggled thus far. “We like Ryan but at the end of the day, it’s free agency,” general manager Mike Maccagnan said. “You go through it. At some point in time, hopefully, we can find a middle ground we’re both happy with.”
That point in time still does not appear to be in sight, and the Jets would do well to figure out their quarterback situation sooner rather than later. The main issue is that New York wants to pay Fitzpatrick $7 to $8 million per year, while Bradford’s contract has an $18 million yearly hit. This is likewise a problem with the Broncos, whose cap space is the reason they have not already completed a trade for Colin Kaepernick.
So for the time being, it looks like Philadelphia will be stuck carrying three quarterbacks into the regular season, with over $48 million in guarantees. That is a lot of money for just three players, especially when two of them won’t even play on Sundays. If the Eagles can find a taker for Bradford or Daniel, they would do well to jump on whatever offer comes their way.