The Philadelphia Eagles will NOT be losing Nigel Bradham after all! The Eagles have reportedly signed their free agent linebacker to a five-year contract worth $40 million, according to NFL insider Adam Schefter.
UPDATE: The Eagles have officially confirmed the signing. Their statement:
“Nigel plays with tremendous energy and fire and has made a number of impact plays for us at the linebacker position. Keeping him here was a priority of ours and we are looking forward to his future here in Philadelphia.”
This news is interesting because it was previously reported the Eagles expected to lose Bradham, who turns 29 this September, in free agency. That’s what I had heard behind the scenes as well.
But Bradham isn’t going anywhere, and that’s good news for the Eagles. He’s played the most snaps of any Eagles linebacker over the past two years. Our performance review on Bradham earlier this offseason:
After a solid showing in 2016, Bradham was thrust into an even bigger role in 2017 due to the Jordan Hicks injury. He showed great versatility by stepping in a middle linebacker and playing well. Bradham’s strength was playing coverage. Per Pro Football Focus, Bradham only allowed 0.62 yards per coverage snap and 13.6 coverage snaps per reception. He ranked first in the NFL among all 4-3 outside linebackers in those categories.
If the Eagles didn’t retain Bradham, linebacker would’ve been a big need for Philadelphia. Now the Birds have some much-needed stability in place.
Bradham’s deal means that Mychal Kendricks, who has been on the trade block forever now, is reportedly expected to be shopped once again. Trading or cutting Kendricks would save $4.4 million in cap space.
With Kendricks potentially gone, it’s quite possible the Eagles will have newly signed Corey Nelson replace his spot as the team’s weakside linebacker. Bradham should return to the strongside lineabcker position with Jordan Hicks expected to play out the final year of his rookie deal at middle linebacker.
Jim Schawrtz’s defense has primarily featured two linebacker sets and Bradham has been the most reliable option there over the past two years. It’s nice to know he’ll be staying in Philadelphia.
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