A small sub-plot of today’s free agency bonanza is Chase Daniel’s contract. According to reports, the deal is for $12 million guaranteed, but the total package is worth up to $36 million, while Bradford’s maxes out at $35 million. That’s a lot for a backup who has thrown only 77 passes in his career, and it has led to speculation that the Eagles could trade Bradford.
According to Mike Florio, the way Bradford’s contract is structured would enable the Eagles to move him without penalty. He explains:
“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 … 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.”
Adam Caplan said it’s not going to happen, though his reasoning about dead cap money is seemingly disputed by Florio’s report. Joe Banner said Daniel is strictly the Bradford backup plan. But since the Eagles have nine days before they actually have to write Bradford a check, the endless “is Sam the QB?” argument will continue until he gets paid, plays a full season, or a meteor hits the Earth, because Albert Breer reports that Bradford and Daniel will compete for the starting job:
The Eagles will be giving new QB Chase Daniel every chance to wrest the starting job from Sam Bradford, per source. Not signed as a backup.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 9, 2016
We have ourselves a quarterback controversy.