Eagles Might Be Willing to Part With LB Stewart Bradley

Written By Bob Cunningham On Thursday, March 03, 2011
The Philadelphia Eagles announced Wednesday the tendering of restricted free agent Stewart Bradley and three others. The move to keep Bradley especially was expected, but what wasn't expected was the level at which he was tendered.

Last offseason, the Eagles slapped cornerback Ellis Hobbs with a first-round tender, but decided to only go to the second round with Bradley. Giving him a lower tender could be a message to the rest of the league that they'd like to keep Bradley, but might be open to moving him for the right price.

That price could come in the form of the second-round pick to sign him away, but that's likely too steep a price tag. The more likely option would be to include Bradley in a package for something else -- perhaps with backup quarterback Kevin Kolb to move up in the first round or even gain an additional first-round pick.

That is, of course, assuming there's a CBA in place by the time of draft -- an assumption that might be more wishful thinking than anything else.

Last offseason, Andy Reid and the Eagles knew they wanted Hobbs to be their starter across from Asante Samuel, and that's why they gave him a first-round tender. Going with a lower tender for Bradley shows they, at the very least, have some questions about Bradley and his future with the team.

Most assume that because of Jamar Chaney's strong play last season that he will take over as the MIKE linebacker and that Bradley will be kicked over to SAM, but new defensive coordinator Juan Castillo might have reservations about the move.

It's possible Castillo doesn't see Bradley as the ideal pick to play the strongside in his scheme, but that they'll use him if he's the best option left on the roster.

Personally, I believe Bradley is the perfect SAM given his skill-set and the fact that he played the position in college, but Castillo could have his eye on a rookie or a player who will enter the free agent pool as the guy he wants manning the strong side of his defense.

If there is some team that has fallen in love with Bradley and decides he's worth the second-round pick it will take to sign him as a restricted free agent, he won't be an Eagle next year. That said, the team probably won't actively shop the former third-round pick, but the lower tender puts him on the trade block on something of a "wink-nod" basis.

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