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Sam Bradford, Eagles give each other stability

PHILADELPHIA – Sam Bradford wanted something that has eluded him his entire career. The Philadelphia Eagles wanted something they haven’t had since Donovan McNabb was traded to Washington in 2010.

Stability.

“If you look at any organization, stability is the key to success, most of the time,” Bradford said Thursday. “I think if you look at some of the quarterbacks and teams that have been successful for a long time, they’ve had stability. It is a key to success. I don’t think it’s the only key.”

In St. Louis, Bradford played for two head coaches and three offensive coordinators in his first three years. In Philadelphia, the Eagles have had four different players begin the season as the No. 1 quarterback since McNabb was traded.

For Bradford, signing a new contract with the Eagles will mean learning another offensive system with a new head coach and a new offensive coordinator. But he liked his teammates enough to believe his best move was to stay put and finally start establishing some stability.

“We have a new staff here,” Bradford said. “We’re all really excited about it. Hopefully it’s going to be something where we’re all going to spend the next five, 10 years together and create that stability. At some point, you have to do that.”

After the 2015 season ended, Bradford said he met with Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman to talk about a future without fired coach Chip Kelly. Bradford said he wanted to remain in Philadelphia. Roseman said the Eagles wanted the same.

“It’s really important,” Roseman said. “We haven’t had that in a long time. The other thing is having a quarterback start 16 games. The longer quarterbacks play, the more continuity you have throughout your organization. It helps you win. It helps you develop programs.

“When you start over all the time, it’s hard. You’re changing schemes, you’re changing players.”

Once the Eagles hired Doug Pederson, Bradford was convinced he had a better chance of finding stability with the Eagles than with another team in free agency.

“I wanted to be back here,” Bradford said. “It was a huge relief to get that phone call this week. This is where I wanted to be.”

Bradford shrugged off reports that he wasn’t happy playing in Philadelphia. Signing a new deal before the start of free agency is the most convincing way he could make that point.

“I have no idea where half the reports come from,” Bradford said. “This is a great sports city. My main objective was to be back.”

He will be, and that is welcome news for teammates such as tight end Zach Ertz and wide receiver Jordan Matthews. Both players said at the end of the season that they thought Bradford had emerged as a team leader as well as an effective quarterback. They didn’t want to see that continuity wasted.

“We believe in ourselves,” Bradford said. “We believe in the guys who are here right now.”