In case you were living under a rock, the Philadelphia Eagles invested a lot of resources into the quarterback position last offseason. The team re-signed Sam Bradford to a two-year, $35 million contract. Then the Eagles signed career backup Chase Daniel to a three-year deal worth $21 million. Finally, the Eagles traded a bevy of picks to the Browns in order to move up and select Carson Wentz with the No. 2 overall pick.
One year later, only one of those quarterbacks remains on the Eagles’ roster: Wentz. Bradford and Daniel are gone.
But their financial impact is not.
Trading Bradford for a first-round pick before the 2016 season was obviously a no-brainer, but the deal still leaves the Eagles with $5.5 million in dead money this year. The Eagles also have $7 million in dead money after cutting Daniel this offseason.
And even though Daniel had offset language in his contract, the Eagles will still be paying him a lot of money to play for the Saints. Via Pro Football Talk:
Per a source with knowledge of the contract, the Saints will pay Daniel a guaranteed base salary of $900,000. Since he had $5 million in fully-guaranteed salary from the Eagles in 2017, he’ll get the remaining $4.1 million from them.
Daniel also can earn up to $3 million in incentives. Because the Eagles agreed to reduce the offset to $2 million, they would get the first $1.1 million of any incentive payments, with Daniel keeping the rest. If my math is correct (and it rarely is), this means that Daniel can make up to $6.9 million in 2017.
Other teams offered better deals than the Saints did, but Daniel chose to return to New Orleans.
Well, thanks a lot for taking less money, Chase.
But while you might want to be bitter towards Daniel, the truth is you should be rooting for him to play in New Orleans. Of course, that won’t happen if Drew Brees is healthy, but Daniel playing more could help him reach incentives, which would be beneficial for the Eagles. But then again it’s not like Philadelphia is going to see any kind of substantial savings. The damage is already done.
And so the Eagles have a lot of money tied up in quarterbacks who don’t even play for them anymore. This is part of the reason the Eagles are so limited on cap space despite having a rookie quarterback as their starter. Here’s a look at the Eagles’ cap hit from each of these quarterbacks, including 2017 free agent signing Nick Foles.
Chase Daniel - $7 million
Carson Wentz - $6.06 million
Sam Bradford - $5.5 million
Nick Foles - $1.6 million
Add it all up and that’s $20.16 million the Eagles have tied up in quarterbacks this season. And that figure doesn’t even include the cap space the Eagles will spend on a third string quarterback. That amount likely won’t be too much, but still!
Again, the fact that the Eagles are paying this much isn’t a total disaster. Wentz was up and down as a rookie but showed franchise quarterback potential. Bradford was traded for a first round pick. The Daniel contract is the one that really makes all of this look bad.
Howie Roseman gets a lot of credit for wisely managing the cap. He’s certainly far from a disaster in this regard, but there’s no denying he hasn’t been perfect lately.