By Peter Brennan
Unless the Eagles sign him to a new deal, quarterback Nate Sudfeld will hit the free agent market on March 18.
A preseason broken wrist wiped out Sudfeld’s 2019 season, one that saw him enter the year as the primary backup to Carson Wentz. Operating under a restricted free agent tender of $3.095 million, the 2016 sixth-rounder is now eligible to hit the open market.
Although there have been no specific reports or rumors linking Sudfeld to the Raiders, the evidence is hiding in plain sight.
Then there’s the fact that Sudfeld was drafted by Washington, and was coached for more than a year by Jay Gruden, brother of Raiders coach Jon Gruden. In 2017, Jon personally worked with Sudfeld and other members of the Washington roster prior to the launch of the offseason program.
A surprise cut by Washington in September 2016, Sudfeld initially joined the Eagles’ practice squad. He won a Super Bowl ring as the understudy to Nick Foles.
Since Sudfeld will be much cheaper than Brady, the Raiders could (if they fail to get Brady) pair Sudfeld with Derek Carr, maintaining Carr at the top of the depth chart unless and until Sudfeld leapfrogs him. Even if he doesn’t, the mere presence of Sudfeld could push Carr to find a higher ceiling.
While it’s easy for Sudfeld to get overlooked in the deepest class of quarterbacks free agency ever has generated, the connections to Mayock and Gruden provide enough reason to remember a player whose absence for all of 2019 has made him largely forgotten. Even if the Raiders don’t get in on Sudfeld, it makes sense to remember his name, especially after the first wave of more established quarterbacks agrees to terms.