How will Bradford deal impact Eagles offseason plans?

The Philadelphia Eagles resolved one of their most pressing concerns of the offseason, coming to terms with quarterback Sam Bradford on a two-year contract extension

Whether you like him or not, Bradford is going to be the starting quarterback in 2016. 

The signing of Bradford comes with huge implications for the direction that the franchise will take in the coming months, as free agency and the Draft loom. 

With quarterback now effectively crossed off of the Eagles' to-do list, what does the Bradford deal mean for the rest of the team's offseason outlook?

The Eagles will NOT draft a quarterback in the early rounds

Signing Bradford all but eliminates any possibility of the Eagles making a run at one of the top quarterback prospects in this year's draft. 

Going with Bradford is a "win-now" move, and that means that the Birds will more than likely allocate their top draft picks to filling out other areas of need on the team to give them the best chance to be competitive in 2016. 

It would be very hard for this team to justify giving Bradford $26 million guaranteed, only to turn around and spend a top pick on another passer while passing on say either a top offensive lineman or wide receiver prospect that might give their current starting quarterback a much better chance to succeed. 

While there's a good chance that the Eagles could take a developmental quarterback in the fourth round or later, I don't think there's much of a chance of them spending any of their picks in the first three rounds on a quarterback in what is already considered to be a bit of a questionable class. Think Christian Hackenberg or Dak Prescott, not Carson Wentz or Paxton Lynch.

This season will become Sam Bradford's make-or-break year. The Eagles were obviously intrigued enough by what they had previously seen from him last season that they want to give him a shot to prove he can be a long-term answer. As such, they're going to allocate a lot of resources to help him succeed. If he falters, look for 2017 to be the year that the Birds use a high draft pick on a quarterback. 

Mark Sanchez could be the next cap casualty

With Bradford back in the fold, it becomes fair to wonder if veteran backup Mark Sanchez's days in Philadelphia could be numbered. 

Bradford's new deal will account for $12.5 million in cap space this season, leaving approximately $18 million of cap space open and available. That is certainly a sizable chunk of the $30 million the Eagles previously had available to them.

Bradford's injury history remains a concern, and the Eagles need a viable backup plan in place, but it may not be feasible for them to have so much money tied up into the quarterback position. 

Sanchez is set to make over $5 million this season, which is a bit expensive for a backup. Keeping him around with the uncertainty surrounding Bradford made a lot of sense, but with the new contract, releasing the former Jet would open up $3.5 million, and give the team more valuable flexibility to work with in free agency. 

The veteran might also carry a little bit of trade value for any club looking for a stopgap solution at their quarterback position, and given that Sanchez almost certainly doesn't have a future with the Eagles beyond 2016, I'm sure the front office will shop him around quite a bit over the next month. 

The team would still need to find a veteran to fill Sanchez's role, and I think there's still a decent chance that the Eagles could make a run at Kansas City backup Chase Daniel. If they were able to land Daniel on a reasonable deal, Sanchez could easily be jettisoned. 

Offensive Line becomes top priority

The Birds have committed to Bradford, and now they've got to do their best to upgrade the supporting cast around him to put him in the best position to succeed. 

Upgrading the offensive line is first on the list. 

Howie Roseman has already gone on the record stating that rebuilding the line is a huge priority for the Eagles. With Bradford, and his extensive injury history, under center, it now has to become the top priority.  

Both starting guards, Allen Barbre and Matt Tobin need to be upgraded, and the team also needs to have a contingency plan in place in the event that aging left tackle Jason Peters' play and health continue to decline. 

Fortunately, both free agency and the draft will provide the Eagles with strong opportunities to add to their talent. Veterans Jahri Evans and Jeff Allen are possibilities through free agency, and the team is almost certain to use at least one of their early draft choices to bring in some young talent to replenish the depth. For this position, think Jack Conklin, Jason Spriggs, Vadal Alexander, Ronnie Stanley or Sebastian Tretola.

Denny Basens is a contributing writer for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @DennyBasens.

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