The Eagles paid a seemingly steep price for Sam Bradford this spring. Not only did they swap Nick Foles with the former Rookie of the Year, but they also sent the Rams a second round pick.
The Birds acquired his $13 million salary, one that will expire and make him a free agent after the season ends. As of right now, there is no new contract in the works.
So, does that mean he is staying?
"We've always wanted Sam Bradford here [long term]," Kelly said in his weekly Monday press conference. "We wouldn't have traded for him if we only wanted him for one year."
The Eagles signal-caller has had a roller coaster for a season, looking like a pro bowler in preseason only to fall to earth during the Eagles first handful of games.
Though he shined bright against the Redskins (a Week 4 loss) and more or less played average football though the season's first half, many questioned Chip's judgment in investing so much into the former No. 1 overall pick.
Kelly kept telling the media to wait and see. To just give Bradford time.
"We knew when we got Bradford that it would be a process," Kelly said, citing that every successful NFL quarterback has served for many years in the same system and on the same team. "I see him continuing to improve in all aspects of his game."
Bradford missed two starts against the Lions and Buccaneers and the Eagles most certainly missed him, relenting 45 points and falling below .500 in the two embarrassing setbacks.
Since the midpoint in the season, Bradford is playing like a true franchise quarterback.
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"I feel like over the past couple weeks or whatever it’s been, I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable out there with what we’re doing," Bradford said after Week 14's 23-20 win. "I think everyone else has too, it seems. It’s still not perfect. There are some things that we need to correct but it seems to be going in the right direction right now.”
In Week's 1-through-8, Bradford completed 62.9 percent of his passes, had 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and a QB rating of 79.5.
Since then, he has four touchdowns to one lone interception (a fluke at that on a well-thrown ball to Zach Ertz against Buffalo), his completion percentage has gotten even better and he boasts a QB rating of 95.1, among the best in the league.
“His efforts have been understated," Ertz told the media Sunday. "The value of him to this team is second to none. When he’s playing at a high level, I think everyone else on the offense is able to follow that, and I think he did that today.”
And perhaps more important than his improved play on the football field is his presence in the locker room. It sounds like everyone on Philly's roster is on board the Bradford-train. And what more can you ask from your starting quarterback?
“I think he was getting there earlier in the year, and now he has kind of established himself as a leader," Ertz said. "I think everyone on the offense and on this team has enjoyed him doing that. We embrace him as the leader of this team.”