Why Roseman Backed Bradford

Howie Roseman. (Jeff Fusco)

Howie Roseman. (Jeff Fusco)

Howie Roseman noted that he really didn’t have the same type of relationship with Sam Bradford that he enjoyed with the other quarterbacks that have come through this organization of late.

He was in a different role last year, obviously, detached from the personnel side and in some ways, the personal side as a result. He said the two started to get to know each other better the last week of the season after Chip Kelly was fired and the power structure shifted inside the building. They have remained in contact over the weeks since. Roseman would reach out when the Eagles signed players, and called Bradford when his two-year, $36 million deal was completed on Tuesday.

“His excitement and his energy and being able to call him when the deal was done and hearing the genuine excitement in his voice…I really wish he would have told me three days ago that he only wanted to be back here — that probably would have helped me a little bit,” Roseman joked, “but it was clear from our perspective that the intentions were right.”

Bradford was hoping that was the case on the Eagles’ end as well. Right after the season came to a close, he was told by Roseman that the team had interest in bringing him back. “I was hoping those were credible and that they were honest in those conversations,” said Bradford. As evidenced by the fresh new contract, they were. More specifically, Roseman was.

It’s a noteworthy dynamic to this whole thing — that Roseman chose to back a quarterback that is so closely associated with Kelly and the power grab he made at Roseman’s expense (at least temporarily). In a quieter moment following Bradford’s press conference, the executive vice president of football operations explained why he chose to do so to Birds 24/7.

“It’s about doing what’s right for the team,” said Roseman. “I don’t care who found the guy. If he’s a good player, let’s roll.

“I remember I went to Oklahoma to scout him before his junior year.  You see this guy who has got size, he’s got arm strength, he’s got accuracy and he’s a great athlete; he played basketball, scratch golfer. And I remember one of the coaches down there telling me that he could be the governor of Oklahoma — he was that kind of smart guy. I think it’s a situation where we’ve got to do what’s right for the Philadelphia Eagles. There’s no motive other than that — trying to build the best team.”

Roseman was asked how much the quarterback draft class had to do with bringing Bradford back.

“It didn’t,” he responded. “For us, it was kind of two separate questions when we evaluate the draft class and when we evaluate our team now. It was a priority for us to get him back, it’s a priority for us to have that position stocked. We talked about that, and kind of went back with Coach and with the offensive staff about when they’ve been on really  good teams and what that position looked like and so for us, as many good players that you can have at that position, the better you’re going to be as a team. And certainly, getting him back was the first step in that.”

Roseman acknowledged that the franchise tag deadline was an important one for both sides, indicating that the team did not want to flirt with the possibility of losing him to free agency. What would the market have been if he did make it to market?

“There are certain situations where the market comes into play and certainly that will start on Monday to Wednesday, but there are also situations with players on your team where you’ve got to figure out what it’s worth to your team and the circumstances you’re dealing with and not worry about whatever everyone else thinks about the deal; you’ve got to do what’s right for your team,” he said. “And so for our situation, I think that if players hit the free-agent market, that comes into play. But you’ve gotta be comfortable doing deals and all the deals we did, I don’t know what the market is going to be for any of those guys but you figure out a number that you think is fair from your side and their side, and as long as everyone is smiling and feeling good about it, I think that’s a win.”

Some other highlights from Roseman’s time with the media:

The Eagles rank 21st in cap space, per Spotrac, at $18.6 million. (No. 1 is Jacksonville with over $83 million in space.) Roseman was asked if he feels good about their cap situation heading into free agency.

“Have any of you guys seen what the rest of the league has? You always want more, but we’ll deal with what the reality is that we have and we’ll make the best of it and we’ll do whatever we can to try and help improve the team throughout the rest of the offseason.”

— Roseman added that they still have some of their own guys they’re hoping to re-sign as well, including Fletcher Cox. Do they have enough space to still get a deal done with the d-lineman?

“We have to make sure that we’re always in a place to get Fletcher done, so anything we do it’s in the back of our mind that we want to get Fletcher done, whether that’s today, tomorrow, whatever point in time, we want Fletcher to be here.”

— Roseman was asked if offensive line will be a priority in free agency.

“The o-line is a priority, period. It’s a priority today, it’s a priority tomorrow, it’s a priority next week, it’s a priority in April. Every day, we’re looking for offensive linemen. So if you have any suggestions, I’ll give you my email.”