2 Ex-Eagles Find Greener Pastures with Buccaneers & Saints

Nigel Bradham

Getty Free agent LB Nigel Bradham.

The Eagles watched two former starters find new homes on Thursday. LeSean McCoy and Nigel Bradham will be playing for the Buccaneers and Saints, respectively, in 2020.

McCoy, the franchise’s all-time leading rusher, had been flirting with the Eagles dating all the way back to the Super Bowl in February. The 32-year-old had been telling anyone who would listen how much he desperately wanted to return “home” and retire with the team who drafted him.

Well, that’s not happening. McCoy signed a one-year deal — at the veteran minimum, around $1.05 million — to join Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. He rushed for 465 yards on 101 carries as a member of the Chiefs in 2019.

It ends a nearly six-month nostalgic trip down memory lane between the Eagles and McCoy. Last week, safety Jalen Mills took to Twitter to recruit McCoy but to no avail. Philadelphia had been looking to add a veteran running back but McCoy’s inability to play special teams may have sealed his fate. Now he’ll look to win a second Super Bowl ring in Tampa Bay.

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Bradham Joins Malcolm Jenkins in New Orleans

Meanwhile, former Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham has reached a one-year agreement with the Saints, according to ESPN. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the Eagles saved about $4.5 million in cap space by cutting him in March. He had signed a five-year, $40 million contract in 2018 and proved a valuable contributor for the Eagles.

Much like McCoy, Bradham had lobbied to stay in Philadelphia and it seemed like a likely possibility considering the Eagles’ lack of depth at the linebacker spot. In the end, the Eagles couldn’t afford to take the cap hit on an aging player who endured an injury-riddled 2019 campaign. Bradham had been a productive player during his four years in Philly, racking up 348 total tackles (21 for loss) and five sacks in 58 starts. He was a key piece on the 2017 Super Bowl tea, too.

“Yeah, I don’t see why not,” Bradham told reporters at the end of last season about returning in 2020, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I think I had a pretty good season. I think I played well. I had a couple of injuries but that’s nothing I can control. That’s how it goes. I know this game is crazy, there’s a lot of decisions to be made. You just never know. I feel like I got confidence. Why wouldn’t I have confidence? Done a lot of things here, a lot of great plays, just gotta keep it going, man.”

It wasn’t meant to be. Now the 30-year-old will head to New Orleans and join another former Eagles Super Bowl hero, Malcolm Jenkins. The two can surely reminisce about the Philly Special — and maybe exact some revenge when the Saints and Eagles meet in Week 13 (Dec. 13) at Lincoln Financial Field.

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