Nigel Bradham

Saints Cut LB Nigel Bradham

The Saints will release linebacker Nigel Bradham, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The longtime Eagles linebacker joined the team just one month ago. 

Bradham, 31 in September, played at least 900 defensive snaps from 2016-18 but logged just 717 last year as he battled an ankle injury. The veteran graded as a top-35 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus, in three of his four seasons in Philly, including the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl slate.

Instead of a reunion with former Eagles teammate Malcolm Jenkins, Bradham finds himself on the job hunt all over again with just a few weeks to go before the start of the season. The Saints, meanwhile, seem poised to move ahead with their current linebacker group, led by Demario DavisKiko Alonso, and Alex Anzalone. New Orleans lost A.J. Klein in free agency but used a third-round pick on Wisconsin’s Zack Baun, who worked as both an off-ball defender and a pass rusher for the Big Ten program.

All in all, Bradham appeared in 58 regular season games for the Eagles – all starts. He’s been first-string throughout his career, pretty much, save for his 2013 season with the Bills. He finished out 2019 with 61 total stops, one interception, and five passes defensed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints, Nigel Bradham Agree To Deal

Nigel Bradham will land with a different NFC contender. The longtime Eagles linebacker reached an agreement on a one-year deal with the Saints, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

The Eagles cut Bradham earlier this year. The ninth-year ‘backer will resurface in New Orleans, joining former Philadelphia teammate Malcolm Jenkins.

New Orleans houses a surefire three-down player in Demario Davis, who has been one of the best off-ball linebackers in recent years. Picked a round later in 2012 (in Round 4), Bradham was the Eagles’ steadiest linebacker since he signed with Philly in 2016. The former Bills draftee will add experience to a Saints second-level corps that has ex-Bradham Bills teammate Kiko Alonso recovering from an ACL tear.

Bradham, 31 in September, played at least 900 defensive snaps from 2016-18 but logged 717 last year. He battled an ankle injury in 2019. He graded as a top-35 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus, in three of his four seasons in Philly — including the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl slate.

New Orleans lost A.J. Klein in free agency but used a third-round pick on Wisconsin’s Zack Baun, who worked as both an off-ball defender and a pass rusher for the Big Ten program.

The three-time reigning NFC South champions have been active on the market this offseason, with Bradham following Jenkins, Emmanuel Sanders and Jameis Winston to Louisiana. With Drew Brees on a year-to-year plan regarding retirement, maximizing his final snaps makes sense for a team that has endured some brutal endings to its past three seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Changes To NFL’s Comp Pick Formula

Earlier this week, the Eagles informed Nigel Bradham that they would not exercise his 2020 option. The next day, they released him outright.

[RELATED: Owners Vote To Approve New CBA]

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.

Eagles Release LB Nigel Bradham

On Tuesday, the Eagles informed Nigel Bradham that his 2020 option year would be declined. On Wednesday, the team officially released him outright, giving him a chance to hook on with a team immediately, rather than waiting until the middle of March. 

Bradham has spent the last four years with the Eagles and was an integral part of their Super Bowl-winning team. Although he did not fit into their plans for this year, the Eagles wanted to do right by him and give him ample opportunity to find his next NFL home.

All in all, Bradham appeared in 58 regular season games for the Eagles – all starts. He’s been first-string throughout his career, pretty much, save for his 2013 season with the Bills.

Bradham seems to have lost a step after turning 30, but he still offers plenty of experience and hard-nosed toughness for teams in need. He should find decent interest on the open market, especially since he has a jump on all the rest as a street free agent.

Bradham finished out 2019 with 61 total stops, one interception, and five passes defensed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Part Ways With Nigel Bradham

The Eagles are moving on from linebacker Nigel Bradham, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. By declining his option, they’ll make him a free agent in mid-March. 

After spending his first four seasons with the Bills, Bradham joined the Eagles as a free agent in 2016. That first deal – two years at $7MM – proved to be a tremendous value. After that, he was re-upped on a five-year, $40MM deal that delivered mix results. And, thanks to a one-game suspension for aggravated assault, Bradham’s $14MM in guarantees were wiped out.

Bradham did not perform up to his usual standards in 2019 and he was limited to just 12 games. Over the last four years, he’s started in all 58 of his games for the Birds, notching 348 tackles along the way.

Had he stayed, Bradham would have counted for $9.7MM against the salary cap. Instead, they’ll save roughly $4.5MM.

Given his history with the team, it’s possible that he could return on a cheaper deal, but the Eagles will prioritize other linebacker options in the interim. Bradham surely would have liked to play out the remainder of his $40MM contract, but they’ve at least done him a solid by giving him advanced notice.

Bradham, turns 31 in September, just before the start of what would be his ninth career season as a pro.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Packers, Adams, Cardinals

No surprise here, but Davante Adams will miss another game this week, per the Packers‘ final injury report. This marks the wide receiver’s third-straight missed contest as he rehabs from a toe ailment.

Adams had a strong start to the season with 25 receptions for 378 yards before going down and seemed on his way to matching last year’s 111/1,386 posting. The Packers were able to get past the Lions without him and they’ll aim to do the same against the Raiders.

Here’s the latest on other bumps and bruises from around the NFL:

  • Uh oh – Cardinals running back David Johnson is dealing with a new injury. After tweaking his back against Atlanta, Johnson will be a game time decision thanks to a sore ankle, head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters.
  • The Cowboys will have offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, wide receivers Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, and cornerback Byron Jones are set to play on Sunday against the Eagles, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. All five are listed as questionable for the game, but they took the practice field and Friday and should be good to go.
  • The Eagles, on the other hand, will try to fly without: linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle), wide receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (foot), cornerback Avonte Maddox (concussion/neck), tackle Jason Peters (knee), and running back Darren Sproles (quadricep).
  • Wide receiver Kenny Stills is set to return on Sunday against the Colts, per the club’s injury report.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eli, Eagles

Let’s take a look at the latest from the NFC East, starting with the Cowboys’ contract situation. The team has now extended four high-profile players over the past several months and remains at work on at least two other deals.

  • Cowboys VP Stephen Jones was adamant that new contracts with Jaylon Smith and La’el Collins were not done to try to put some pressure on Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott or Amari Cooper. “We’d consider other agreements right now and it wouldn’t affect what we’re doing with Dak, Amari or anyone else,” Jones said (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Jon Machota). The Cowboys now have Smith, Collins, Elliott and DeMarcus Lawrence signed long-term; they are still working on re-ups for Prescott and Cooper.
  • On his “Hail to the Podcast” podcast with Erin Hawksworth, former Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall said that Trent Williams could make his return “sooner (rather) than later.” Despite his holdout, GM Bruce Allen recently confirmed that the disgruntled Pro Bowler will not be traded and that he does not see him retiring.
  • According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, Giants officials have privately told him that Eli Manning will remain the starting quarterback as long as they are in the playoff race. Moreover, sources also told Vacchiano that Pat Shurmur will have a significant say in the matter. “It’s Shurmur’s call,” one team source said. “Let’s just see how it goes. When and if it’s time, we’ll all know.” Manning confirmed this past summer that he is not rushing into retirement.
  • Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham was thought to be AWOL after missing the team’s preseason finale against the Jets, and the team was “livid” at his absence, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane. However, Bradham said he was “under the weather” and needed to communicate better with team officials. Bradham signed a five-year, $40MM deal in 2018 and has been a key contributor to the defense since coming over from the Bills in 2016.

Eagles Rework Chris Long’s, Nigel Bradham’s Contract

The Eagles have created a chunk of cap space. ESPN’s Field Yates tweets that the team has adjusted the contracts of defensive end Chris Long and linebacker Nigel Bradham. The move will open up about $5.032 in cap space.

Long had signed a new deal with the Eagles last offseason, but there were still whispers that the defensive end could end up calling it a career. The 33-year-old still hasn’t necessarily committed to playing, as the veteran tweeted that he’s still weighing his options.

“I love Philly so much,” Long wrote. “The fans, all of it. I’m making a football decision, though. Money moved doesn’t mean it’s been made.”

The veteran had another productive season as an Eagles reserve in 2018, compiling 23 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles in 16 games.

Bradham re-signed with the Eagles last offseason, inking a new five-year, $40MM deal with the organization. However, his one-game suspension last season voided all guarantees, which were estimated to be around $14MM. The 29-year-old has emerged as one of the Eagles’ top defenders in recent years. He had another productive season in 2018, compiling 97 tackles, two sacks, and four pass defended.

The Eagles have been relatively busy so far this offseason. The team is set to sign Malik Jackson, they traded for DeSean Jackson, and they re-signed Jason Peters.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Ealy, Eagles

The Cowboys are pondering a position change for free agent addition Kony Ealy, Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram tweets. Ealy has not impressed at defensive end this summer, so he’ll get a longer look at defensive tackle.

Starting defensive tackle David Irving will serve a four-game ban to start the season and Maliek Collins‘ status is up in the air thanks to a foot injury, so Ealy could carve out a role for himself in the middle. The veteran was initially expected to fill Benson Mayowa‘s role as the team’s third defensive end, but Taco Charlton, Charles Tapper, fourth-round pick Dorance Armstrong, and the returning Randy Gregory may be ahead of him on the depth chart at this point.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

NFC Notes: Rodgers, Elflein, Bradham, Rams, Bears

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers may be far apart when it comes to an extension, but the franchise quarterback doesn’t sound like he’s all that bothered by the lack of progress. Talking to Genaro C. Armas of the Associated Press, Rodgers said he never planned on holding out as he pursued a new deal.

“I don’t really operate like that. I have two years left on my deal,” Rodgers said. “They’re obviously more than willing to talk about an extension. There wasn’t any animosity on either side.”

The 34-year-old is set to earn an average annual salary of $19.9MM in the final two years of his deal. Once the contract expires, the Packers would seemingly be in the driver’s seat when it comes to negotiations. As our own Zach Links explained, the organization could franchise him in 2021 and 2022, bumping that average annual salary to $25MM per season.

Let’s take a look at more notes from around the NFC…

  • Vikings center Pat Elflein was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list yesterday, and Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune says that was due to a pair of offseason shoulders. It was previously announced that the 24-year-old would undergo surgery to repair his fractured left ankle, but the Elflein also underwent a procedure to fix a lingering shoulder injury. Goessling tweets that while the offensive lineman wouldn’t commit to a return date, his health isn’t expected to be a major concern. ESPN.com’s Courtney Cronin adds (via Twitter) that former third-rounder is simply “waiting for medical clearance” before he returns to the field.
  • Last month, Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham was slapped with a one-game suspension stemming from his 2016 involvement in an alleged assault incident. While the 28-year-old is set to miss the team’s season-opener, it sounds like he could have been out a whole lot longer. Bradham told John McMullen of 97.3 ESPN that he was originally facing a six-game suspension (via Les Bowen of Philly.com). His side ultimately appealed and got the suspension reduced to a single game.
  • Rams offensive guard Jamon Brown was suspended for the first two games of next season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The former third-rounder told Rich Hammond of Orange County Register that the suspension was related to a speeding violation and marijuana possession (Twitter link). As Hammond points out, the 25-year-old was arrested in 2017 on suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence.
  • The Bears worked out former Assumption wideout Ashton Grant today, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). The six-foot-two receiver set a number of school records during his four years with the program, including receiving yards (3,204) and receiving touchdowns (36). Chicago is currently rostering 10 receivers, including rookies Anthony Miller and Javon Wims.
  • Speaking of Bears rookies, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com wonders why Bears first-round pick Roquan Smith remains unsigned more than a week after the team’s training camp started. Florio cites PFT’s previous report that “then-unsigned players at the bottom of the top 10 were being delayed both by roster bonuses structure and by language that would void the guarantees in the fully-guaranteed four-year contracts.” What does this mean? If the linebacker is suspended for violating the league’s helmet-related tackling rules, the contract’s guaranteed money would “go away.” This would make it considerably easier for the Bears to move on from Smith down the road. Of course, neither side is hoping it’d ever get to that point, as the organization clearly has high hopes for the eighth-overall pick. However, as Florio explains, it’d make sense for the rookie’s camp to stand firm in removing this language from the rookie contract.