The Eagles changed their plans due to a recent change in the compensatory pick formula, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. Under the previous system, a player with a declined team option would count as a compensatory free agent for the club. This change, first reported by Over The Cap’s Brad Spielberger (via Twitter), was only just relayed to the Eagles this week.
The Broncos benefitted from the option trick in 2017, when they declined his team option and scored a third-round comp pick in 2018. It’s a seemingly minor revision to the rule, but it could nudge teams towards keeping players or, as was the case with the Eagles and Bradham, allowing those players to reach free agency before the start of the league year.