The Philadelphia Eagles will have to make a decision on what to do with pending free agent Sam Bradford this offseason, so they will ask themselves the same question every team in need of a franchise signal caller ponders -- can he win a Super Bowl?
According to the Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, the answer to that question is obvious.
Via CSN Philly:
More from FoxSports
"If you protect Sam and give him weapons to use," Jenkins said, "I think he can be one of those quarterbacks to win a championship."
Jenkins broke down Bradford's season into two parts -- the seven games before he got injured and the seven after. During those final seven games, Jenkins and his teammates noticed an evolution in Bradford's performance both on and off the field.
"I think it was kind of a tale of two seasons for Sam," Jenkins said. "Early, especially in the first half of the season, I don't know how comfortable he was in the locker room or being in the role of the leader on the team when he had just gotten here.
"He's got new guys. Then he got hurt, and when he came back, he decided to take the team by the horns basically. He really started to be a lot more vocal, he started to break down the huddles, he started to speak to the team before every game.
"When he did that, he gained the trust of the teammates and he started playing better. The back half of the season, he played really well for us.
"So, from a player's perspective, we definitely got behind Sam in that back stretch and really would like to see him back moving forward. We think he can be the leader and the quarterback that we need."
The stats certainly back up Jenkins' claim that Bradford was a much better quarterback in the second half. Over his final seven games, Bradford threw for 10 touchdowns and just four interceptions, compared to nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions over his first seven. He also threw for nearly 28 more yards per game and his 97.0 passer rating was the ninth-highest in the NFL over that seven-game span.
Now comes the hard part -- the Eagles have to figure out how much they value Bradford and how he fits into their budget. Even after their spending spree last offseason, the Eagles have an estimated $26 million in salary cap space, per OverTheCap.com.
The Eagles can opt to use the franchise tag -- this move would allocate an estimated $20 million on Bradford in 2016. This move would leave the Eagles with very few options to address the holes on their roster in free agency and sign all of their draft picks.
Another option for the Eagles is to come to terms with a long-term contract with Bradford. If they choose this route, they could look to leverage Bradford's injury history in an attempt to bring his annual salary down. They could use the long-term contract extension Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton signed in 2014 as the framework for a new deal -- his contract contained very little guaranteed money compared to other franchise quarterbacks like Eli Manning and Philip Rivers.
Bradford's value on the open market is hard to ascertain at this time. Free agent franchise quarterbacks are always in high demand, but not every team is likely to see Bradford as the same player Jenkins does. A lot can also change depending on whether or not Kirk Cousins and Ryan Fitzpatrick hit the open market.
The Eagles will have until 4 p.m. ET on March 1 to decide if they want to use the franchise tag on Bradford.