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Eagles Rumors: NFL teams expect Philadelphia to re-sign Sam Bradford

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Interesting.

Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports

It's been too long since we've had an update on the Sam Bradford situation. Now there's a rumor from NFL insider Jason Cole that the impending free agent quarterback is expected to be back with the Eagles. Here's what he had to say, via Bleacher Report:

"In talking to multiple teams about the quarterback market in free agency, obviously most teams anticipate Kirk Cousins is going to be franchised by the Washington Redskins. That means that Sam Bradford is the most likely No. 1 target for lots of teams as they head into free agency. Now Bradford is expected to re-sign with the Eagles by most teams, however, he will not be franchised.

The big issue here with Bradford is he was excellent in the second half of the season. He had a touchdown-interception ratio of 10 to four in the final seven games of the season. In addition, he was consistently over 60% in completion percentage. In other words, he turned around everything after missing almost a year and a half away from the game because of injuries and after having a rough first half of the season.

However, if Bradford ultimately goes out on the market, don’t expect him to get the huge money that a lot of people would anticipate for a quarterback. He may basically have to sign a one-year deal on a prove-it measure with some team to eventually get to the kind of big money that he ultimately thinks he probably deserves at this point in time."

It's already been reported that the Eagles won't franchise Bradford. Speaking of, the franchise tag window officially closes one week from the date of this post at 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, Mar. 1.

If the Eagles really do want to get a deal done with Bradford, one would think they'd have to do it before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on Mar. 9. It might need to be even sooner than that because his agent, Tom Condon, can starting negotiating with teams when the "legal tampering" window begins on Mar. 7.

Or maybe the Eagles can let Bradford test the market if it's going to be as weak as Cole suggests. That would potentially allow the Eagles to bring Bradford back at a reasonable rate. The problem with that idea is that it only takes one team to give him a strong offer and he could be gone. The other problem with letting Bradford test the market is that it shows the team doesn't really believe in him too much if they're OK with risking losing him.

Bradford's future with the Eagles remains unclear. Key figures such as Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman have publicly said they want him back in Philadelphia, but who knows if that's how they really feel behind the scenes. Bradford also has the support of his teammates. Malcolm Jenkins said the Eagles can win a Super Bowl with Bradford.

Despite these endorsements, there's plenty of evidence to suggest Bradford might not be back. It's been reported multiple times that he's not crazy about Philadelphia. It's also hard to see Condon doing a team-friendly deal because he doesn't have a history of doing that.

The Bradford situation is tricky. It's true he played his best football down the stretch in 2015, but the numbers weren't as impressive as they seemed. His injury history is still a significant concern. Despite these issues, some can argue he's the best option for the Eagles, especially on a short-term deal. Bringing him back in that capacity wouldn't necessarily prevent the Birds from drafting a quarterback, which is something Doug Pederson has expressed interest in.

It's hard to get a good feel for how this situation will play out. We'll see what happens soon enough.