Eagles Cost Analysis 2017, QBs: Chase Daniel Isn't Going Anywhere

Last offseason, the Eagles made an unprecedented investment in not one, not two, but three quarterbacks, and for the most part, that series of moves paid off. Trading a slew of draft picks to go up and get Carson Wentz appears to have been well worth the capital, while re-signing Sam Bradford beforehand allowed the club to turn around and flip the veteran signal-caller afterward.

Chase Daniel, on the other hand, remains a confusing addition to many people, particularly because he came at such a steep price tag. A career backup with only two NFL starts, Daniel's three-year contract for $21 million included $12 million fully guaranteed - enough to tie the Eagles' hands through 2017 at least.

Oh, the Eagles could cut Daniel. It's just that doing so probably costs the organization more money in the long run.

The $1 million in space Daniel's hypothetical release creates under the salary cap would have to be put toward a new backup quarterback anyway. Assuming his replacement has any meaningful experience at all, a mil isn't going to cover it. And even if the Eagles use a mid-to-late-round draft pick to fill that role, the savings are still negligible, eliminating any benefit to taking such a gamble.

In theory, the Eagles can get out from under Daniel's contract if he is traded. Since $5 million of his remaining guarantees are tied to the base salary for '17, Daniel's new team would be agreeing to shoulder that financial burden, leaving the Eagles to deal with just the remaining $2 million in prorated signing bonus money. Now it's a savings of $6 million - of course, such a scenario is entirely dependent upon another team coveting Daniel, which doesn't seem incredibly likely.

Daniel has little incentive to accept a pay cut, either, unless it comes in the form of a long-term extension. Clearly, the Eagles have no leverage, and he's not at risk of losing a starting job he doesn't have, so the offer would have to be pretty compelling to pass on earning $7 million next season.

Which means no matter how wasteful you may find his contract, you're going to have another year to learn how to say his name. It's Chase Daniel, not Chase Daniels. Get used it.


Chase Daniel
Age: 31*
Cap Number: $8,000,000

As of now, Daniel has the 25th-highest cap number for a quarterback in the NFL for '17. The only dedicated backup in the league who's currently scheduled to take up more room is Nick Foles with the Chiefs ($10.75m). In fact, Daniel's hit is double that of any QB in a comparable situation, which is obviously a lot for a player who literally attempted one pass all of last season. Even if he were to actually play, his body of work over eight seasons is so minuscule, it's hard to say what the Eagles would get. He does know head coach Doug Pederson's offense, which is the explanation for his being here. In terms of a comparison, Daniel's absolute best case scenario might be Jeff Garcia. Unless that happens, this just looks like a bad contract.

Carson Wentz 
Age: 25*
Cap Number: $6,062,804

Wentz cemented himself as the Eagles quarterback of the future this season. What he accomplished as a rookie, with a first-year head coach, with a thin supporting cast - particularly at the wide receiver position - and a patchwork offensive line was incredible. Especially considering he worked with the third-team offense during OTAs and training camp and missed all but one preseason game due to injury. Wentz started all 16 games, completing 62.4 percent of his passes for 6.2 yards per attempt with 16 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. That's only good for a pedestrian 79.3 rating, but given the circumstances, it often felt spectacular. Surround him with some talent and watch the Eagles become a Super Bowl contender for the next decade.


Aaron Murray
Age: 27*
2016 Cap Number: $110,400

A fifth-round pick by the Chiefs in 2014, Murray was added to the practice squad after the Bradford trade. Basically, he knows Pederson's system and was insurance in case Wentz and Daniel got hurt, though the 26-year-old has never appeared in an NFL game. Murray was the only player on the scout team who did not sign a futures contract at the conclusion of the season, so he's a free agent. The logical conclusion to draw is interest from the Eagles isn't very high. He could still return as a camp arm, but the club would be best served by drafting a third QB who could be groomed to replace Daniel in 2018.


Sam Bradford
Age: 30*
Dead Money: $5,500,000

Because Bradford was dealt to the Vikings after June 1, the dead money from the $11 million signing bonus he received from the Eagles was spread across last season and next. That seems well worth it considering the return on their investment was a first-round draft pick this year and a fourth in '18. Keep in mind, the Eagles didn't know for certain they would be able to move up and take Wentz when they re-signed Bradford, so if the criticism is they could have used that money in free agency rather than on picks, that's true - but then it's also true Daniel could be the starter right now. In other words, while there was definitely risk involved in giving Bradford a two-year extension, everything worked out about as perfectly as it could have there.

*Ages are as of 12/31/17

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