Rumors regarding the next quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles are swirling, and it may turn out to be a familiar face behind center for 2016. While there are question marks pertaining to Sam Bradford's ability as a quarterback, his improvements in the Eagles offense were obvious over the second half of the season. After Chip Kelly was fired a few weeks ago, some speculated that Bradford would no longer be interested in re-signing with the Eagles. While most of the team reportedly disliked Kelly and his methods, Bradford has spoken out many times favorably regarding his former coach.
Earlier today, Eagles tight end Zach Ertz re-signed with the team for $42 million over five years. While many fans do not believe that Ertz is worth that amount of money based on his current career production, he did have his most productive season with Bradford as the quarterback. In his press conference, Ertz discussed his desire for continuity at the quarterback position.
As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ertz talked about the chemistry that Bradford has built with the receiving corps.
"I've played for five quarterbacks now in three years, which seems like a lot, and I want to play with Sam. Ultimately, that's not my decision. But I think the chemistry that I developed with Sam and Jordan [Matthews] developed with Sam and some of the other guys developed - I think you saw the success firsthand with Donovan [McNabb]. He was a staple on this team for a long time, and when you're able to have that continuity, I think it goes a long way. I would love that. I know a lot of guys would love to have Sam back. At the same time, we're very confident in Doug [Pederson] and Howie and Mr. [Jeffrey] Lurie to decide who is going to be the best person to play quarterback."Finding a quarterback in the NFL is not an easy task, and the Eagles may already have one that has the potential to be good enough to win them a Super Bowl. While Bradford is no Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, he has also never had their weapons or offensive line. After numerous erratic throws, bad sacks, and looking scared in the first eight games of the season, Bradford really played much better as the year went along. Poor offensive line play and numerous easy dropped passes by the wide receivers also contributed to the Eagles' offensive struggles. Even though Ertz and wide receiver Jordan Matthews want Bradford to come back, it is all up to the coaching staff and Bradford himself. With Kelly gone and Doug Pederson the new head coach, the system is going to be different than last year. While Bradford has spoken in the past about having a consistent system, he is going to have to adjust to a new coach and offensive methods if he re-signs with the Eagles. When asked about Bradford, Pederson said he is still completing the evaluation process.Inevitably, Ertz was asked in the press conference if Bradford has spoken to him regarding his feelings about re-signing with the Philadelphia Eagles.
"I think he's excited. He wants to be in Philadelphia. Whether he's back here or not, that's none of my business, honestly. He's going to do what's best for him, and the Eagles are going to do what's best for us. But at the end of the day, I think he wants to be here."With the Eagles' wide receivers and ownership previously speaking highly about Bradford, it is all going to come down to how much money he wants. While $18-$20 million per year is likely what it would cost to sign Bradford to a long-term extension in today's NFL market, he is reportedly asking for much more. According to Bleeding Green Nation, Bradford wants $25 million per year.
Either the report is incorrect, or Bradford is completely delusional. There is not a team in the NFL that is going to pay him that much money. The $25 million could just be a starting point in the negotiations, but that figure even seems a little too high as a starting point.
Over the next few weeks, rumors will continue to come out regarding Bradford's future with the Philadelphia Eagles. While Bradford may be back with the Eagles, it likely will be in the $18-$20 million per year range.
[Photo by Elsa/Getty Images]