With the 2016 NFL draft a little over two months away, rumors are heating up regarding who is going to be the next quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. While it would make sense to build on Sam Bradford’s improved play at the end of last season by signing him to a long-term contract or placing the franchise tag on him, it may cost more than what the Eagles are willing to pay. With Chip Kelly gone and Doug Pederson in place as the new Eagles head coach, Bradford’s value to the team may also have fallen off with the expected change in the team’s offensive philosophy. Could the Eagles sign former Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III? Some analysts believe it could happen.
After finishing with a mediocre 7-9 record in the awful NFC East, the Eagles are going to have to do things differently if they have any hopes of competing with the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and Washington Redskins this year. Firing Chip Kelly was a start, but the team still has numerous problems to address on offense. While Bradford was not anywhere close to an elite quarterback last season, he was not exactly given help. After Chip Kelly gutted the team of its most explosive offensive weapons in the offseason, Bradford was left throwing to average wide receivers that dropped numerous passes. The running game was also inefficient and did not make Bradford’s life easier.
Regardless of Bradford’s struggles, he did begin to improve towards the second part of the season. Coming into a new system and still recovering from an ACL tear, Bradford actually looked to be a different quarterback over the team’s final games. While the Eagles were still not a good football team, Bradford left fans with hope for the future. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Bradford has stated in the past that he wants to return to Philadelphia.
Now that the season is over, Bradford’s apparent contract demands have been leaked by various sources. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, the Philadelphia Eagles will not sign Bradford to the franchise tag.
“The Birds aren’t expected to use the 2016 tag, today or at all before the March 1 deadline, to ensure the retention of their most prominent free agent, quarterback Sam Bradford. They still might sign Bradford, but they don’t seem wed to him to the extent that they’re willing to dedicate $20 million or so of their 2016 salary cap to the notion.”
If the Eagles do not tag Bradford, they would have to sign him to a long-term contract, which could cost as much as $20 million a year or more. While Pederson and the Eagles apparently still like Bradford, they may not want to pay a quarterback that is often injured and has not won a playoff game that much money.
While the Eagles may be a better team next year, they are unlikely to compete for the Super Bowl, no matter what they do. Instead of tying up all of their money in Bradford, they may decide to go with a younger quarterback with more potential. While it is very possible that they draft a quarterback in the first round of the draft, the talent pool at the position is considerably weaker than last year.
As Fox Sports reports, the Eagles could end up signing Robert Griffin III as their starting quarterback for next season. While RG3 has not had the success that many expected he would coming out of Baylor University, he did show flashes in his rookie year. Numerous injuries and a rocky relationship with Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has slowed Griffin’s development, but he is still only 26 years old. Fox Sports says the decision is ultimately going to come down to how Pederson views Bradford at the money that he is demanding.
“This scenario depends on if new head coach Doug Pederson likes Sam Bradford or not. Bradford is a free agent and may come with a lofty price tag. As the Chiefs offensive coordinator from 2013-15, Pederson helped guide Kansas City to a 31-17 regular-season record and playoff appearances in 2013 and 2015. Pederson is credited with developing quarterback Alex Smith, a former No. 1 overall pick by San Francisco. Under Pederson’s guidance, Smith had three consecutive 3,000-yard seasons, threw the second-fewest interceptions among quarterbacks with more than 1,000 attempts (20) and ranked fourth among all quarterbacks with 1,183 yards rushing. RG3 could be a much cheaper option than Bradford.”
With the Eagles not expected to win this year, Robert Griffin III could be a low-risk, high-upside option for the team in desperate need of a spark. And even if the Eagles do sign Bradford to a long-term deal, Griffin could still be brought in as a competent backup. With Bradford’s long-term health unclear, he is sure to miss a few games every season.
Rumors regarding the next quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles will likely continue until the draft in April. While Robert Griffin III has been a bust so far in his brief career, he could see a revival in Philadelphia if the Eagles decide to bring him in.
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