There have only been three quarterbacks in the history of the Eagles organization to start 16 games in a season: Donovan McNabb, Randall Cunningham and Ron Jaworski.
That’s just three men since the NFL moved to a 16-game schedule in 1978.
And even though Sam Bradford has been locked down for two more years, after signing a $36 million pact Tuesday, chances are he won’t be the only quarterback taking snaps on the field for the Eagles in 2016.
History itselfsuggests that fact, with McNabb’s 2008 season as the only one absent of quarterback injury in the history of Lincoln Financial Field. But pair that with Bradford’s injury history and the outlook isn’t great.
He missed two games last year with a concussion and shoulder injury, but during his six year NFL career he’s missed 31 games while playing 63. Much of that missed time was due to two knee surgeries.
He did play the entire 16-game slate his rookie and junior seasons with the Rams, but the numbers suggest at some point in 2016, Bradford won’t be able to go.
Setting aside the $26 million guarantee that is at risk on the Eagles ledger, the manright now who would take over is Mark Sanchez. But rumors have swirled even before the Bradford contract that the veteran backup could be cut.
The cut, which is surmised by many Eagles writers and ESPN alike,would open up $3 million in space for the Eagles (Sanchez signed a two-year, $9 million deal last offseason when Chip Kelly was calling the shots).
Which means that a new quarterback, a Carson Wentz, Christian Hackenberg or someone else, could see playing time next year. Thus making the upcoming NFL draft even more important. With the team eyeing offensive line, secondary and wide receiving help in free agency, every dollar counts. And with Bradford so highly paid, the Eagles could be better off financially letting their future quarterback not only learn under Bradford and head coach Doug Pederson, but also learn in a backup role.
Is Sanchez actually on the chopping block? Chances are yes. The real question is when he will be let go, and who his replacement will be. Stay tuned.