Heading into free agency, Nate Sudfeld was set to be a restricted free agent, meaning the Eagles had first dibs to keeping him this offseason. As expected, the team placed a second-round level tender on the backup quarterback, according to a report from Adam Caplan. The tender is worth about $3 million for 2019.
Sudfeld signed a two-year, $1.17 million deal with the Eagles in 2017 and eventually made his way to the active roster. Now, with Nick Foles leaving Philadelphia, Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson have both put their support behind Sudfeld as a competitor for the No. 2 quarterback behind Carson Wentz.
In 2017, Sudfeld took 40 snaps in one game, completing 19-of-23 attempts for 134 yards. He was active for seven total games in 2018, but only lined up for 11 total snaps, going just 1-of-2 passing attempts, although one was to Nelson Agholor for the quarterback’s first career touchdown.
.@NateSudfeld comes in and tosses a TD to @nelsonagholor.— NFL (@NFL) December 30, 2018
Reminder: With a win, and a Vikings loss, the @Eagles will make the #NFLPlayoffs.
: FOX #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/O759qVcGpz
He was also pretty impressive during the preseason, where he showed he had deep-pass potential and chemistry established with the young players on the Eagles roster.
NATE SUDFELD FROM HIS OWN END ZONE.— NFL (@NFL) August 17, 2018
DIME. #PHIvsNE pic.twitter.com/h2qOiyp1CL
Off his back foot!@NateSudfeld finds Richard Rodgers for the @Eagles TD! #FlyEaglesFly#PHIvsNE pic.twitter.com/7u9YK2GLln— NFL (@NFL) August 17, 2018
At the start of the 2018 preseason, I wrote about Sudfeld’s experience and potential, and it seemed like a good portion of BGN readers supported the young QB to be the heir-apparent to Foles’ former position.
For a more detailed definition of the RFA designation, Over The Cap explains:
There are 4 RFA designations, each with a different price tag and a different compensation package. Unlike the franchise and transition contracts these contracts are not fully guaranteed. The highest price tag gives the prior team the right to receive a teams’ 1st round draft pick as compensation if they choose not to match the offer. The mid cost grade gives the team a 2nd round pick while the final ones give the team the ability to receive compensation at the player original draft round and/or the right to simply match the offer sheet.
Because of the draft pick compensation it is rare that a RFA signs with another team. Teams have the ability to name as many RFAs as they want and RFAs only have about a month to find a new team. Once that period passes they can only sign a deal with their old team. If they fail to sign by June 15th they may be in a position to see their salary offer reduced while the team still maintains exclusive rights. RFA tenders once made immediately count on the salary cap so if you see reports of cap space diminishing and cant find a corresponding transaction there is a good chance a player was tendered that we don’t know about.
It’s very unlikely that a team will be willing to sign Sudfeld to an offer sheet because it would require them giving their second-round pick to Philly if the Eagles don’t match the deal.
Sudfeld will enter 2019 with at least an opportunity to compete for the backup quarterback job behind Wentz. It’s possible the Eagles could sign a veteran passer for him to compete with.