Weekend Reading: Sam Bradford’s Next Move
Snowed in by literal feet of the fluffy white stuff? Stranded without football until Sunday afternoon? Fret not, friends. We’ve compiled a roundup of the best Eagles-related reading for your consumption. Have at it.
Can the Eagles afford to re-sign Sam Bradford? NJ.com’s Mark Eckel looks at the potential ramifications of a big-money deal.
Resigning Bradford would just about take up the rest of the cap. So that means in exchange for keeping Bradford the Eagles would not be able to re-sign any of their other free agents, most notably Vinny Curry and safety Walter Thurmond.
It would also prevent them from shopping at the high end of the free agent market for needed help on defense, on the offensive line, or at wide receiver.
Now, the Eagles could create a little more salary cap room by releasing, or trading some veterans. Tackle Jason Peters would save them $4.5 million; quarterback Mark Sanchez ($3.5 million), wide receiver Riley Cooper ($2.6 million), linebacker DeMeco Ryans ($2.5 million) and running back Darren Sproles ($2.5 million). They could also approach any of those players as well as tight end Brent Celek about a restructured contract.
If Bradford doesn’t return in 2016, what does the situation at quarterback look like? The Daily News’ Mike Kern reminds readers there’s plenty of uncertainty.
Some folks seem to think you just find somebody in the draft, even though there’s no second-round pick and the first-rounder really has to be used on something that can help them immediately. Like somebody who might be able to block in front of the QB. Just a thought. But they also make it sound like it’s not so hard to find that guy. Even if they used the 13th selection, which seems like a stretch given their overall state, who do you want? Jared Goff will be long gone. Paxton Lynch might not even be on the board. Or Carson Wentz. But if they are, would you be confident that they’re indeed the future. Because you’d better be right. This isn’t like you’re choosing between Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.
You might get real lucky and find another Russell Wilson in the third round. But it doesn’t happen very often. You could end up with Matt Barkley. Or Nick Foles, who at least looked like he could beat the odds for awhile. And if you’re thinking about trying to steal a Christian Hackenberg or Cardale Jones at some point, well, that means you might be going with Mark Sanchez next season. Even if you’re among those who don’t think the Eagles can be a factor in 2016, remember what division they’re in.
The Eagles want to re-sign Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz and Curry, according to NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks.
It is expected they will be making offers to Johnson and Ertz soon, in hopes of locking up the trio sooner rather than later.
The decision by the Eagles to target the three make sense, all for different reasons.
For Curry, the goal is clear — he is a soon-to-be free agent, and will likely have plenty of suitors if he does hit the open market. One team that is expected to be interested in the New York Giants.
Now that the Eagles are expected to switch back to a 4-3 defense, having Curry becomes crucial, as he is likely the team’s best pure pass rusher as a defensive end, ahead of maybe even Pro-Bowl defensive lineman Fletcher Cox.
Locking up Johnson and Ertz, for the Eagles, would be a move made to potentially save them money down the line.
If the Eagles go the route of the draft in finding their next quarterback, CSN Philly’s Reuben Frank asks if Chiefs QB Chase Daniel could be a stopgap solution next year?
If history repeats itself — and it seems like that’s the plan here — Doug Pederson will draft a quarterback and sign a veteran to hold down the fort until the rookie is ready.
Just like Pederson did for Donovan McNabb 16 years ago.
If the Eagles don’t re-sign Sam Bradford, and that certainly seems like a 50-50 proposition at this point, the next-most likely scenario is probably drafting a quarterback and signing a veteran.
An obvious candidate is Chase Daniel.
The MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas, one of the best national football writers in the country, brings an excellent feature on the process of hiring a head coach.
Sometimes the smallest details say the most: Casserly recalls that when Todd Bowles interviewed with the Jets, the fact that he was so in command of the conversation and never once opened his notes impressed everyone in the room.
Interviews are a two-way street. Those who interviewed with the Browns, for example, had to ask questions about how the new power structure with EVP of football operations Sashi Brown and chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta would work. A veteran coach like Tom Coughlin would have been expected to have long conversations with the Eagles about how much power they would be willing to give him in the organization.
NFL.com’s Adam Schein ranked the most- and least-inspiring coaching hires. Chip Kelly ranked No. 2. Pederson, on the other hand…
6. Philadelphia Eagles, Doug Pederson
To think, the Eagles fired Kelly before Week 17 to get a jump on the process — and ended up with their third choice behind Tom Coughlin and Ben McAdoo (don’t listen to the spin).
Oh, and Pederson confessed he called the plays for Andy Reid‘s Chiefs last Saturday during the slowest and most mind-numbing late-game drive in recent memory. You know, when the Chiefs inexplicably took their sweet time despite the fact they were down by two scores in an elimination game? Awful.
The Big Lead’s Ryan Glasspiegel returns to the scene of the crime and examines whether the Eagles’ skirting of the Rooney Rule went too far.
Though they obeyed the letter of the law, the timing and execution of the Eagles coaching search begs the question of whether the team complied with the spirit of the Rooney Rule. Franchise owner Jeffrey Lurie explained that they fired Chip Kelly with a week left in the season to “get a jump start on our head coaching search.” A few days later (and before the regular season concluded), they’d interviewed Duce Staley—a former player on the team who’d spent six seasons in the building thereafter, including three as the running backs coach—and didn’t formally interview any minority candidates thereafter*.
A little over a week before the Eagles would eventually land Doug Pederson, Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole said that the NFL was concerned that the franchise had “manipulated” the Rooney Rule by interviewing Staley, an in-house candidate who had just three years of experience as a position coach. Reached today for comment, league spokesman Brian McCarthy told TBL this report was “not true.”
Over at the Eagles’ team site, Max Rapoport writes about the Kelce brothers’ take on what Pederson brings to the table.
Over the past two seasons, Travis Kelce has caught 139 balls for 1,737 yards and 10 touchdowns, leading the Chiefs in all three categories during that span. The young tight end credits a large portion of his success to Pederson’s impressive offensive mind, noting also that the former quarterback is an incredibly approachable and thoughtful leader.
“In terms of offensive minds, I don’t know how much better they get,” the younger Kelce told reporters in Kansas City last week. “He understands what defensive coaches want to present, he understands strategy and things like that. For the most part, he’s a relatable guy, guys want to play for him. It’s hard to kind of describe that, his character makes it easy to be yourself and go out there and do the things you have to do.”