Two areas of concern for the Eagles defense this season will be linebacker and veteran leadership on an otherwise young team. That is why signing soon-to-be free agent Stewart Bradley should be an important task for the Eagles front office when the league year starts.
If the new CBA shakes out the way many NFL experts believe it will, Bradley will be able to test the market as an unrestricted free agent, something he would not have been able to do under the old CBA. But despite his chance to cash in anywhere, Bradleys agent Eric Metz says that the 4th year player wants to remain in midnight green.
“He has a lot of respect for his coaches, I can tell you that,” said Metz in an interview with PhillySportsDaily.com. “I think it would be his first choice. “
Of course, as it is to any agent or young player, it ultimately will come down to one thing- the money.
““If they offer him a long-term contract that we feel is fair then he would have no problem signing in Philadelphia,” said Metz.
It will be interesting to see how much the Eagles are willing to give Bradley. It is estimated that the team will have roughly $20 million dollars in cap space. While Bradley has been semi-injury plagued during his tenure in Philadelphia, he is still a young middle linebacker. He is viewed as a solid player around the league, despite not finishing with more then 1 sack in any of his 3 seasons so far. Bradley also has not been able to create turnovers, as he has only forced 1 fumble and come away with only 3 interceptions.
He also would hold additional value to the Eagles and new Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo, who will need some veteran leadership while he teaches a new defense.
If the Eagles go after Asomugha, which reporters who cover the team closely believe they will not, it will take up a big chunk of their money- and may lead to Bradley being shown the door.
A potential deal between Bradley and the Eagles should work out quickly if both sides are interested, as the Eagles will want to wrap things up with their own players as soon as possible to focus on the potential free agent mayhem.