It appears the Eagles are moving on from veteran linebacker Nigel Bradham.
Bradham, 30, has been with the Eagles since 2016 but it seemed highly unlikely he would be back in 2020, at least under his current contract.
The Eagles have declined his option, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN first reported the move.
This move will save the Eagles around $4.5 million in cap space for the upcoming season. Bradham had a team option on his current contract that would have paid him an $8 million base salary in 2020. Bradham is now a free agent.
There’s a possibility Bradham could return on a cheaper deal but he’ll obviously want to test the free agent market first, a source said.
At the end of the 2019 season, I spoke to Bradham about his desire to return to Philly and he expressed that he wouldn’t rule out a possible pay cut.
“It depends on what’s right,” Bradham said in January. “Obviously, I feel like I’m going into a good situation. I just take it from there. I don’t really have a say on what should be done or what should not be done.”
But the Eagles want to get younger and paying an aging linebacker just isn’t their style.
While Bradham never grew into a Pro Bowl player in Philly, he was a consistent player at linebacker and perhaps knows Jim Schwartz’s defense better than anybody, having played in it in 2014 in Buffalo and then from 2016-19 with the Eagles. That knowledge of the defense allowed the Eagles to use him at several different positions.
Bradham was a key member of the Super Bowl team but the Eagles can’t keep players for sentimental reasons.
And during his years with the Eagles, he’s also had his fair share of off-the-field incidents. But his production on the field has helped the Eagles tolerate those incidents. Since his arrival, Bradham leads the team in combined tackles with 348. He also has 21 TFLs, five sacks and 11 QB hits.
But now, for another year, the Eagles are again light at linebacker. They still have Nathan Gerry, T.J. Edwards, Duke Riley and Alex Singleton under contract but that likely won’t be enough. They will likely need to reconstruct the position again this offseason.
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