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When Eagles head coach Chip Kelly surprised everyone and re-signed Mark Sanchez to a two-year extension for $9 million, it was inevitable that the Eagles were going to trade Nick Foles. But it was the return for Foles that created shock around Philadelphia and the entire NFL.
Sam Bradford. Sam freaking Bradford! And it wasn’t just the return of Bradford in the Foles trade, but rather what else the Eagles had to give up.
Now of course, Bradford’s history has been often criticized and chronicled. He was of the last NFL draft class to get massive contracts before the slotting system came into place. He is on the final year of his deal, which will pay him $12.9 million and he carries a cap hit of $16.9 million. More than his contract, the former number one overall pick is known for his injury history. He has missed 31 games in his five seasons, including all of last season with a torn ACL, his second ACL tear in two years. With injuries a concern, the Eagles made sure they got some insurance back for paying a premium price for the Oklahoma product.
Injury protection is ideal for the Eagles, but the feeling is that the team gave up too much, especially with Kelly presumably drooling over Marcus Mariota. Without 2016’s second round pick and Foles, Kelly gave up two important pieces to use as a trade bait to move up for Mariota. Unless there are more moves coming, the trade with the Rams signals that Bradford is the Birds quarterback of the future.
So here we are on March 10 and the Eagles roster is completely different than one year ago. I can’t help but think more is in store for Kelly’s Birds. But for now, a new quarterback is at the helm for Philadelphia, and his name is Sam Bradford.