EAGLES’ QB SAM HAS TO BE TOP-NOTCH OR HE’LL GET CUT IN 2017!

By Michael Donovan

Sam Bradford’s coaching staff was overhauled, with head coach Chip Kelly giving way to Doug Peterson.

He received a two-year, $35 million contract with $22 million guaranteed in March, only to watch the Eagles sign Chase Daniel to a three-year, $21 million contract a week later.

Then, the following month, the Eagles tipped their hand about the future of their quarterback position by trading a boatload of picks to the Cleveland Browns for the No. 2 spot in the 2016 NFL draft, which they then used to select North Dakota State passer Carson Wentz.

As a result, Bradford demanded a trade, which never came and ended his psuedo-holdout on Monday, reporting to the team’s voluntary workouts.

Bradford was the first-overall pick of the 2010 draft, a.k.a. the last first-round pick to be paid handsomely under the old CBA’s rookie pay scale. Two of his four seasons with the then-St. Louis Rams were cut short with ACL tears; he also suffered a significant shoulder injury in college.

He was then traded to the Eagles last March and started 14 games in 2015, completing 65 percent of his passes while throwing 19 touchdowns to 14 interceptions.

And now he’s fighting for his career, with Daniel clearly possessing the trust of the Eagles’ coaching staff and Wentz on board for at least four and perhaps five more years.

Bradford not only needs to be named the Week 1 starter but also hold onto that job for the entirety of the 2016 season, while staying healthy, to have any chance to see the second year of his current contract.

Bradford’s cap hit rises from $12.5 million this year to $22.5 million in 2017, but the Eagles can release him next year at a cost of just $5.5 million (in contrast, Daniel’s contract has dead money of $7 million next year).

Bradford is a priority player for the Birds right now, but he will have to perform at a high level for that to remain the case beyond 2016.

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