The longer the Eagles wait, the less likely Sam Bradford will re-sign

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The Eagles currently have exclusive rights to negotiate contracts with their current players.

It’s resulted in contract extensions to Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz and Brent Celek in moves that many credit Howie Roseman(who is, more or less the Eagles’ personnel head) for doing a good job.

But a few big ones loom large, particularly an expected extension for Fletcher Cox and possible new contracts for several impending free agents like Vinny Curry, Cedric Thornton, Walter Thurmond and others.

Quarterback is the most important position in all of sports, and many in the Eagles organization — like head coach Doug Pederson or pass-catchers Ertz and Jordan Matthews — have had nothing but good things to say about Sam Bradford.

“I think he’s excited,” Zach Ertz said of Bradford last week after he signed a deal that guaranteed him $21 million.”He wants to be in Philadelphia. Whether he’s back here or not, that’s none of my business, honestly. He’s going to do what’s best for him and the Eagles are going to do what’s best for us. But at the end of the day, I think he does want to be here.”

So what’s the hold up?

The NFL’s salary cap has gone up by about $10 million each of the past few years and is expected to do so once again. With Bradford’s salary demands likely in the $20 million per season range, there really should be enough room the the team to keep him and re-sign everyone else they want to re-sign. And yes, that means even with Cox signing what is being rumored to be a $100 million deal.

But the longer they wait, the less likely it seems the team will have Bradford’s services in 2016.

One reason for the delay could be the franchise tag, which is permitted to be used until the end of February. The Eagles are no stranger to the tag, having used it on DeSean Jackson, Michael Vick and L.J. Smith in recent seasons.

But if they don’t act by the March 1 franchise tag deadline, the Birds could be looking to go in a different direction.

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