By Sarah Berkowitz
There has always been a solid group of Eagles Nation that simply does not believe that Chip Kelly traded for Sam Bradford with the intention of making him the Birds’ starting quarterback in 2015.
They believe he is only a bargaining chip for Chip to peddle in order to get the rights to Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.
With the NFL draft only seven days away — April 30 in Chicago — and with Bradford’s contract not settled or signed, it is looking more and more like that is exactly what will happen.
When the Eagles traded last month for quarterback Sam Bradford, it was believed that efforts promptly would be made to extend a contract that pays him $12.985 million in 2015, the final year of his rookie deal.
ProFootballTalk.com, referring to a source with knowledge of the situation, reports no meaningful talks have occurred.
The failure of the Eagles to make a significant effort to extend Bradford’s stay has sparked speculation in league circles that Bradford could indeed be traded again, even though coach Kelly insisted that Bradford won’t be used as a bargaining chip.
Bradford currently is willing to sign a new deal that guarantees an opportunity to remain in Philly in 2015 and beyond; if he’s traded again, however, he won’t do a new deal this year.
He also may stay away from the offseason program, but that would require a more careful analysis of the reality that he’s in a contract year. To become marketable in 2016, he needs to re-establish himself in 2015. To do that, he may have to embrace yet another new destination.
Still, that doesn’t mean he’ll extend with a team like the Browns. He’d play out the contract, recognizing that he could end up being franchise-tagged. The silver lining would be that he’d then make more than $20 million in cash next year.