One of the Eagles’ main starters from their Super Bowl team is moving on, as linebacker Nigel Bradham is being released.
ESPN reported that the team informed Bradham on Tuesday that it will release him.
It was not surprising, considering that general manager Howie Roseman said after the season ended that the Eagles needed to get younger. But the Eagles also need to clear space under the salary cap to pursue top-level free agents.
By releasing Bradham, who’s 30, the Eagles can accomplish both goals. Bradham was due to count $9.8 million against the salary cap in 2020. By releasing him, the Eagles will save $4.5 million.
Bradham’s base salary of $8 million for 2020 was a lot of money to pay someone at a position the Eagles devalue. Bradham counted only $4.6 million against the salary cap in 2019 after getting his contract reworked the year before.
NFL mock draft:What will Eagles do in first round?
There could be more veterans going before the new league year begins March 18, such as wide receivers Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and safety Malcolm Jenkins.
The Eagles also have several free agents, most notably left tackle Jason Peters, offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vatai, running back Jordan Howard, safety Rodney McLeod, and cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby.
Still, Bradham has been the Eagles’ top linebacker ever since they signed him in 2016. Last season, Bradham had a game-saving interception in the end zone in the final seconds to preserve a win at Green Bay. He also returned a fumble for a touchdown as the game ended to preserve a win over Washington.
In four seasons with the Eagles, Bradham started all 58 games he played in, with 348 tackles, two interceptions, four fumble recoveries and five sacks. But Bradham also missed four games because of an injury last season, and the Eagles were able to compensate.
That’s because the Eagles typically use just two linebackers for the majority of the games. The Eagles have Nathan Gerry returning, along with Duke Riley; T.J. Edwards, an undrafted free agent last season whom they like; and Alex Singleton.
Kamu Grugier-Hill, another starting linebacker, is eligible for free agency, and isn’t expected to return. The Eagles could add a veteran linebacker in free agency for depth.