Eagles Trade for Sam Bradford
In a surprising move, the Eagles acquired Sam Bradford from the Rams for Nick Foles and a draft pick. Bradford has a huge contract that expires after this year, but the Eagles had enough cap room that the cap hit apparently wasn’t deemed as a massive issue.
Chip Kelly and company seemingly soured on Foles last year, so on the surface, the trade makes sense for both sides, as Bradford’s arm talent has never been questioned.
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The biggest knock on Bradford has been his injuries. He didn’t play at all during the 2014 regular season, played seven games in 2013, and played 10 games in 2011. He had a decent rookie year in 2010, throwing for 3,512 yards and an 18:15 TD/INT ratio under Pat Shurmur’s offensive tutelage.
He now reunites with Shurmur in Philadelphia, something that may give him comfort, especially since he has a full season of his system under his belt. Bradford’s best year was in 2012, but it was still nothing spectacular, as he graded out just under the middle of the road for quarterbacks that year.
Injury questions aside, there are some positives for Bradford here. For one, the Rams’ pass blocking was atrocious in 2014, grading out in the bottom six in the entire NFL. The Eagles’ pass blocking had a much better grade, grading out in the top 10. While pieces are still moving around this offseason, line play alone should be a big help, as the Rams fielded bottom-half lines in both of Bradford’s full seasons.
Chip Kelly’s system should also yield Bradford more attempts and volume, since as of now Eagles don’t have a workhorse in the backfield after the LeSean McCoy trade. Bradford’s competition as of now is Mark Sanchez, and based off talent alone, most would argue Bradford has the edge.
One of the main downsides as of writing this article might be Bradford’s receiving corps. He no longer has Jeremy Maclin, and behind Jordan Matthews he has the likes of Riley Cooper and Josh Huff. The Eagles will likely sign another receiver, but as of now, that leaves Zach Ertz as the Eagles’ number two target. Without a decent run game behind him, Bradford may also face dime defenses more than usual or more pass rushes than usual.
Weighing the pros and cons, if things stand as they are now, Bradford is a QB2 in fantasy circles with upside. It would be smart to pair him with a safe if not top-3 type QB1, such as a guy like Matt Ryan or Tony Romo, as there’s plenty of risk associated with Bradford. If the Eagles do get another receiver and a competent running stable, there may even be an argument for Bradford as a low-end QB1 given his team and likelihood for volume.
As far as Eagles receivers are concerned, assuming Bradford’s health, it’s a bit of a mix. Losing a guy like Maclin hurts a guy like Matthews in terms of quality of coverage cornerback, but gives him a better arm throwing to him as well as more volume. Ertz also gets a boost if things stay as is. On the Rams’ side, Foles likely slides in as a starter, but doesn’t have the upside that Bradford does.
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