Eagles Wake-Up Call: Sam Bradford’s Options
Sam Bradford has been relatively straightforward about where he wants to be next season. The quarterback initially said he wanted to return to Philadelphia, which made sense because his preference was to not learn another system, but Chip Kelly‘s firing made things a little murkier.
Hiring Pat Shurmur could boost the odds of Bradford’s return — assuming the Eagles want him — because of the comfort factor, but growing uncertainty means there’s less clarity regarding the quarterback’s status. Because of that, we took a spin around the NFL to determine which teams need a quarterback most.
Although he got off to a rough start by throwing more interceptions than touchdowns in the first seven games of the season, Bradford bounced back after the bye week. Over his last six starts, he threw for 1,959 yards, 10 touchdowns, and a passer 99.1 rating. His five 300-yard games this season tied Donovan McNabb (2004) and Sonny Jurgensen (1961) for the team record.
Spotrac estimated that Bradford’s market value comes out to a three-year deal worth $56 million, averaging $18.7 million per year. To calculate that, they used Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan and Ryan Tannehill as “comparable players.” The average deal between those four is worth $19.5 million per year, but Bradford’s stats are slightly worse than the other quarterbacks’ in their two seasons prior to signing.
It looks like the Johnny Football experiment is coming to a close, and Josh McCown doesn’t exactly scream franchise quarterback. Regardless of who they bring in, however, they should probably address the offensive line as well. Cleveland allowed the second-most sacks in the NFL (53), just one behind Tennessee.
The Browns appear to be in a pretty good spot to draft a quarterback with the second overall selection, but it’s quite possible the Titans will trade out of the first pick as they have what looks to be a franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota. If Jared Goff is gone (Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke projects him to go No. 2), it’s possible Cleveland would take Paxton Lynch, but that may be a significant reach.
It’s impressive the Texans won nine games and the AFC South (albeit in a weak division) without a franchise quarterback, but that’s a position they’ll likely have to address after the playoffs. They’ve started four different quarterbacks this season (Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden), but none of them are close to being a guy they can build around.
Because the Texans are one of the best teams in the NFL without a franchise quarterback, they may be willing to give up more to trade up in the draft or sign a guy in free agency to make the jump to being a contender.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
The 49ers are in a somewhat similar situation to the Eagles as it’s difficult to project what they’ll do at quarterback until they find a new head coach. In 2015, they ranked in the bottom five in the NFL in passing touchdowns and passing yards.
Colin Kaepernick appeared to be a franchise quarterback previously, but he took a major step back this season. In nine games, Kaepernick threw for six touchdowns, five interceptions and a 78.5 passer rating. He may have signed a $114 million deal, but Kaepernick’s dead cap number is down to $7.4 million in 2016, and $4.9 million in 2017.
ST. LOUIS RAMS
It’s ironic just one season after the Eagles and Rams swapped quarterbacks, both teams could be looking for new starters. Nick Foles was so bad that he was benched after five games, completing 56 percent of his passes, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, and recording a 69 passer rating.
Case Keenum was decent as he unexpectedly attempted a pass in five games, but even if the Rams re-sign Keenum, they will almost certainly make a move this offseason to address the quarterback position. It’s possible Paxton Lynch could fall to St. Louis in the draft (that’s what Burke projects), but teams typically reach for quarterbacks and that’s not a very safe bet. Some teams may value Connor Cook high enough, however, to draft him in the middle of the first round.
WHAT YOU MISSED
DeSean Jackson said Chip Kelly ruined the Eagles and karma caught up to his former coach.
Yesterday’s open thread had a plethora of updates on the Eagles coaching search.
Keeping track of every head coaching candidate and interview with our Master List.
A look at what they’re saying about Ben McAdoo, whom the Eagles interviewed Thursday.
“He is under serious consideration.” On Jeffrey Lurie, Adam Gase, and risk.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Terrell Owens is one of 18 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists, reports NFL.com.
The Annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee Meeting will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2016, in San Francisco when the 46-person Selection Committee meets to elect the Class of 2016.
The selectors will thoroughly discuss the careers of each finalist. Although there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules stipulate that between four and eight new members will be selected each year. No more than five Modern-Era Finalists can be elected in a given year and thus a class of six, seven, or eight can only be achieved if the Contributor Finalist and/or one or both of the Senior Finalists are elected.
CSN Bay Area says the 49ers met with Chip Kelly about their head coaching vacancy.
The 49ers met Thursday with former Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly about the team’s head-coaching job, a source told CSNBayArea.com.
The 49ers also met Thursday with Buffalo Bills assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn, another source confirmed.
The 49ers are searching for a head coach for the second-consecutive year after firing Jim Tomsula on Sunday night after a 5-11 season.
We’ll continue to have you covered on the Eagles coaching search.