According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Eagles will be parting ways with linebacker Nigel Bradham.
The 30-year old veteran was in a tricky spot this offseason. The Eagles signed him to a shiny new contract after the Super Bowl, keeping him on the team until 2022. The catch was however that there would be a 2020 option for the team. If they decline it, he’s a free agent, and if they pick it up, he costs $9.7M. The Eagles opted to save money, it seems.
Bradham was a tackling machine early in his career, but missed every seventh tackle he attempted in 2019, highlighting a glaring hole in this defense. He rallied to 61 tackles in 12 games in 2019, along with a pick and 5 passes defensed. His play had steadily declined since he first joined the Eagles in 2016, and at this stage in his career, isn’t worth that hefty price tag that was once placed on his shoulders.
The team will save around $4.5M in cap space, but their linebacker group is extremely light on talent.
Nate Gerry, Alex Singleton, and T.J Edwards headline a group of players still on the roster, while Kamu Grugier-Hill is a pending free agent. After losing Hicks one offseason and Bradham the next, this might finally be the year in which the Eagles invest at the position.
The NFL Draft carries a relatively strong linebacker group, but as of right now, the oldest on the roster would be 26-year old Alex Singleton, who has one full year of NFL experience under his belt. There is a clear need to not only rebuild the position but to do so in the right way.
Losing Bradham isn’t the end of the world, but he will be a commodity in the free-agent market. There is a chance that the Eagles opt to decline the option with the hopes of signing him to a new and cheaper deal over a shorter term. It’s wishful thinking, but it’s hard to imagine the Eagles cutting ties without a bigger plan in mind.
Whatever happens, the linebacker position is now suddenly among the team’s greatest immediate needs this offseason.
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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