Sam Bradford won't hit the market after all.
The Eagles agreed to a short-term, two-year deal with their quarterback, the team announced on Tuesday just after the franchise tag deadline. Bradford was not under consideration for the tag.
The contract is worth $36 million, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, per a source who has seen the deal. Bradford will receive $22 million guaranteed at signing, which balloons to $26 million when injury guarantees are added. The deal includes an $11 million signing bonus and he will make a $7 million base salary in 2016 with $4 million guaranteed in 2017.
The pact is a calculated risk for the 28-year-old quarterback, who likely would not have broken the bank in free agency after a disappointing season in Philadelphia. The length of the contract gives him two years in a passer-friendly system at a more-than-fair market value, and the chance to hit the market again at age 30. Bradford turned 28 in November. It also helps the Eagles avoided their rolodex of backup plans, which could have included Chiefs backup Chase Daniel or selecting a rookie in this year's draft.
The Bradford contract will now have a major impact in free agency as similarly nebulous free agents like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brock Osweiler prepare to hit the market. Bradford threw for 3,725 yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last year.
Bradford is one of the most interesting players in the NFL. Evaluators swear that he was the cleanest and most NFL-ready prospect to come out in more than a decade before Andrew Luck was selected No. 1 overall in 2012. His development, however, has been marred by poor luck with injuries and a revolving door of offensive coordinators in St. Louis and then under Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. For some, he still represents great, untapped potential. For others, he is simply not the quarterback he was projected to be.
The Eagles are taking a fairly wise route to find out -- they can wash their hands of the deal entirely after two years. By pairing him with a former NFL quarterback as a head coach -- Doug Pederson -- and placing him under the blanket of an Andy Reid-style offense, the Eagles are giving Bradford perhaps his best and final chance at showing his worth.
The average per year on Bradford's deal ($18 million/season) places him tied for 14th among NFL starters alongside Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. His guarantee percentage (72 percent) places him third among active quarterbacks behind Philip Rivers and Eli Manning, albeit on a deal half as long.
UPDATE: Bradford signed his two-year deal on Thursday.