Last year at 4:01 p.m. ET on the first day of the league year, the Eagles and Rams dropped a bomb on the NFL, swapping quarterbacks Nick Foles and Sam Bradford. This year, it’s possible that the Eagles could unleash another Bradford-related surprise.
Based on the terms of Bradford’s contract, he could be traded by the Eagles.
Per a source with knowledge of the deal, the first $5.5 million installment of Bradford’s $11 million signing bonus isn’t due until March 18, 2016. The second is due on or before September 1, 2016. So the Eagles have yet to pay Bradford a penny; they could transfer his entire contract to a new team.
It’s not unusual for contracts to contain a lag between the signing of a contract and the payment of the signing bonus. But with the Eagles reportedly reaching a deal with quarterback Chase Daniel and with the terms of Daniel’s deal on complete and total lockdown until 4:00 p.m. ET at the earliest, it’s entirely possible that the Eagles will do what Bradford feared they’d do if he had signed an extension after arriving via trade a year ago — abruptly flip him to another team, like the Browns or the Texans or the 49ers.
Even though the Eagles haven’t paid Bradford’s bonus, they’d be responsible for the full $11 million under their 2016 cap. But they would get a full credit for the money in 2017, allowing for the bonus money to essentially be carried over by a year. Besides, the move also would clear Bradford’s $7 million salary off the books, creating a net cap gain for 2016 of $1.5 million.
We’re not reporting that it’s happening or speculating that it will or otherwise doing anything other than pointing out that, given the structure of Bradford’s contract (which per a source with knowledge of the deal does not contain a trade clause), it could happen.
Last year, when Foles and Bradford were swapped, no one saw it coming. This year, if Bradford goes the way of DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso, it shouldn’t be as big of a surprise as it was in 2015.