By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Today, February 16th, is the first day NFL teams can slap the franchise tag on one of their players.

For the Philadelphia Eagles, they must make that decision at the game’s most critical position, as their quarterback Sam Bradford is set to become a free-agent if he is not tagged or signed.

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94WIP’s Howard Eskin told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show that he is hearing the Eagles “will not” tag the 28-year-old former No. 1 overall pick.

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“Well I’m hearing they will not franchise him,” Eskin said of Bradford on Tuesday morning. “And there’s no reason to franchise him the first day that you’re permitted to do that, because you want to try to work out a contract. So all this, ‘Oh they’re on the clock.’ Well when it gets to March 2nd, that’s when they could have some issues ’cause that’s when teams are allowed to talk to the agent — not talk money, which I think is ridiculous and bogus because you know they do. And then March 9th [is when free-agency and the 2016 season officially begins].”

Listen: Howard Eskin on the 94WIP Morning Show

 

Eskin believes the Eagles should — and can — retain Bradford for less than $20 million per season.

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“I think the Eagles need him, that’s number one,” Eskin said. “I don’t think he’s worth 20 million [dollars]. If he wants to play in an offense he is now comfortable with, he knows the coach can help a quarterback because that’s the tree that he grew under — I mean they made Alex Smith look good in Kansas City. So if he wants to try to be successful, does that five million extra a year — if they offer him 14, 15 million — does that make a difference in his world when he got all that money to sign the last number one pick that wasn’t under a rookie salary cap?

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“I think what’s gonna happen is if Sam doesn’t recognize that he has to take less money — and his agent [Tom Condon] wants him to go in the free agent market,” Eskin continued. “And I don’t know that anybody is going to pay him 20 million. Trust me, his agent turned down 20 million a year so his agent thinks he can get 20 million. Everybody talks about [the] Houston [Texans]. 20 million dollars for at least four years is a lot of money, especially in the case of a quarterback if he gets hurt.”

The deadline to franchise tag a player — which would bind said player to his team for one-year — is March 1st at 4:00 p.m. E.T. Free-agents can sign with new clubs beginning on March 9th at 4:00 p.m. E.T.

Eskin believes Bradford will become a free-agent, but could come running back to Philadelphia because of an underwhelming market.

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“I don’t see them franchising him and I think they’re going to let him go out and say, ‘OK go out and see what you can get’ and then you can come back to us,” Eskin reiterated. “That’s what I think they’re going to try to do. I do know, from everything I’ve heard, that I don’t believe from everything that I’ve been told that they will not franchise him. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to sign him at the right price, but I think they’re going to let him go out there and see what he’s worth on the open market.”