On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to terms with Sam Bradford on a two-year contract that will keep Bradford in Eagles green for at least one more season. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the deal is worth $36 million total, with $26 million "guaranteed."
According to Andrew Brandt, the deal actually breaks down like this: $22 million of the deal is guaranteed. Bradford gets an $11 million signing bonus, with a $7 million salary this coming season. In 2017, $4 million of his deal is guaranteed, with a $4 million guarantee in case of injury. Essentially, the deal is close to the franchise tag amount:
Bradford gets fully secured $22M, $2M more than Tag w/playoff upside. Eagles get 2nd year option with $4M risk, another $4M if major injury.— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) March 2, 2016
The deal looks like the best possible outcome for both parties. Bradford did not show enough last season to warrant being the unquestioned franchise starter, and the deal's length and dollar amount is reflective of that. The average amount earned on his contract is 15th in the league, and his guarantee ranks 16th.
For Bradford, he gets slightly over the cap amount with the chance for more in year two. Signs seemed to be pointing to lukewarm free agency prospects, which could have something to do with not waiting to test the open market. But a big year with a new coaching staff would give Bradford a better chance to cash in down the line, or potentially renegotiate after this season.
The Eagles also have some protection if things go awry. If the early reports of the deal are indeed accurate, the Eagles would be on the hook for around $9.5 million next year, should they decide to release him in 2017 - $4 million in guarantees, and $5.5 million of the prorated signing bonus. It's not nothing, but that $4 million comes off the books if another team signs Bradford.
Looming in the background of these negotiations is the prospect of the Eagles drafting a rookie quarterback. Head coach Doug Pederson has indicated that he'd like to groom a new young caller who can sit and develop. Memphis' Paxton Lynch has been the most popular name thrown around, but it's still too early in the draft process to know where any of the quarterbacks will ultimately go.
The Eagles appear to have set themselves up nicely for the immediate future, given the circumstances. There is certainly the argument to be made, however, that it would've been easier to simply bring in a journeyman like Chase Daniel. But doing so would create more pressure for the front office to get their guy in the draft. And as we saw in 2014 (paging Marcus Smith), counting on things to break a certain way is far from an exact science.
This contract gives Bradford the chance to show what he can do under a new regime, and gives the Eagles the time and flexibility to figure out who will ultimately lead the offense over the next two seasons - and beyond.