Now that we know Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford has demanded a trade and won’t report for the team’s off-season activities, there’s a decent chance he will be traded at some point during this week’s draft.
Bradford’s reported request comes on the heels of Philadelphia moving up to the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft — a move that will lead it to taking a quarterback in that slot.
With Bradford now clearly on the trade block, there is another starter-caliber quarterback for those in need of an upgrade.
Here’s a look at the four most-likely destinations for the former top pick.
Wouldn’t it be funny if Denver entered the 2016 campaign with Bradford and Mark Sanchez competing for the starting job? Even after acquiring Sanchez from Philadelphia back in March, the defending champs are clearly in the market for another veteran quarterback.
Obviously linked to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, it’s possible that general manager John Elway and Co. could turn their attention to Bradford.
Any team acquiring the Eagles’ starter would be on the hook for a $12.5 million cap hit. This means that the Broncos would need to rework a deal that was just signed two months ago, which could create long-term cap ramifications. It’s also unknown whether Bradford would be open to that possibility.
Though, if he wants out of Philadelphia this late in the process, the quarterback might have to bite the bullet there.
San Francisco 49ers
A couple different chips would have to fall in order for this to work. First off, Kaepernick would have to be traded before San Francisco could even consider adding Bradford. Simply put, the team isn’t going to pay two quarterbacks starter money.
There’s definitely a link here. That comes in the form of former Philadelphia Eagles head coach and general manager Chip Kelly, who is in his first offseason as the 49ers head coach. He is the one within Philadelphia’s organization that pulled off the trade for Bradford from the then St. Louis Rams last March.
While Bradford had previously indicated he didn’t consider joining Kelly in San Francisco prior to re-signing with Philadelphia in February, things have since changed. A victim of circumstance, Bradford’s options are now severely limited.
#Eagles were blindsided by Sam Bradford's trade request, but have not budged on their view: He is their starter. That remains the case.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 25, 2016
Pure conjecture here, but a Kaepernick-for-Bradford deal could be bandied about. Philadelphia is still strongly suggesting that whoever it takes No. 2 overall would sit behind Bradford for at least a season. In this, the same could be said should the team acquire Kaepernick in a straight swap with San Francisco.
New York Jets
Would the Jets be willing to give Bradford the money they don’t seem to want to give to Ryan Fitzpatrick? On the surface, that seems a bit ridiculous.
What we do know is that Bradford could be considered more of a long-term option than the 33-year-old Fitzpatrick. His upside as a potential franchise guy is also much higher than Fitzpatrick’s.
Just $3.3 million under the cap, New York would have to do something in order to be able to land Bradford. That could come in the form of sending defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson to the Eagles in a deal that would send Bradford and picks to the Jets. Again, this is pure conjecture.
Linked to Paxton Lynch with the 20th pick, do the Jets want to sit back and see if the Memphis quarterback falls to them? Will they look to trade up into the top 10 to select the signal caller? These questions will definitely be posed in the team’s war room during the draft. Bradford would be a cheaper option from an asset standpoint.
Josh McCown might be able to serve as the perfect stopgap option for Philadelphia until that unnamed second pick is ready to start under center. He’d also be a cheaper option for a team that’s less than $12 million under the cap.
While Cleveland did add Robert Griffin III in free agency last month, the team is still nearly $40 million under the cap. RGIII is also set to count just $5 million against the cap.
With McCown reportedly on the trade block and now that the Browns are unlikely to go quarterback after trading down from No. 2 to the eighth spot with Philadelphia, there might be an opening for another veteran on the roster.