Wake-Up Call: Condon Explains Bradford Holdout
Despite reports about Sam Bradford’s frustration over the Eagles’ trade for the No. 2 pick in the draft, Adam Schefter’s story about the quarterback demanding a trade yesterday and skipping the offseason program came as somewhat of a surprise.
Bradford’s agent, Tom Condon, spoke to SiriusXM NFL Radio last night about Bradford’s unhappiness. Condon emphasized that the Eagles starting quarterback wants to go somewhere he feels he can win the job long-term if he plays well.
“None of this is personal, it’s just business. And so from our perspective it is that Sam wants the opportunity to try to go some place and not only be the starter, but be the starter there long-term,” Condon said. “There’s a couple of things that go along with this. If you’re on a two-year contract and the second pick in the draft is behind you, then you better really play well because you’re going to hear it from the fans if you don’t. You better play well or your teammates are going to be looking at you sideways and wondering about when the next guy is going to step in.
“I think from that standpoint, too, it’s that’s the other players understand that you’re a short-term guy. And you’re going to be out of there even if you play well because you can hopefully be traded or something like that before your contract expires. And so Sam would like to forego all of that.”
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the Eagles were “blindsided” by Bradford’s trade request, but they still don’t have any interest in dealing him. Broncos beat reporter Mike Klis tweeted that Denver reached out to Philadelphia about Bradford, but the Eagles’ asking price was “too high.”
It’s unclear what compensation the Eagles could get for Bradford, but Condon touched on the type of team the quarterback would like to go to.
“He doesn’t view himself as somebody that’s a stop-gap kind of quarterback and he wants to go some place and take a chance on being with a team for a long time and I can’t blame him for that,” Condon said.
There didn’t seem to be much frustration in Condon’s voice, as he said he understands the Eagles didn’t know they would acquire Chase Daniel and a top quarterback prospect when they re-signed Bradford. Condon also called Bradford’s last three games “remarkable,” in which Bradford threw five touchdowns and three interceptions.
“Sam’s a competitor and he wants to go some place and know that he’s the man,” Condon said. “He just doesn’t want to be there holding a place card and then wondering where he’s going to go at the end of the year. He’d like to go some place where he can participate and play.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Tim offers his thoughts on the Sam Bradford situation.
“I can speak for myself, I know I got kind of worn out towards the end.” Lane Johnson on offseason programs.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
David Murphy of the Daily News tries to put himself in Sam Bradford’s shoes.
The reaction to Bradford’s reaction to the Eagles’ trade for the No. 2 pick has been similar to the reaction to Donovan McNabb’s reaction to the Eagles selecting Kevin Kolb in the second round. And, just like that situation, I think that a lot of us are missing the real issue. If Carson Wentz had fallen to No. 8 and the Eagles had drafted him there, I think Bradford would have reacted as Bradford tends to react to most things (at least in public). Hey, they never told me they weren’t going to draft a quarterback. I’m here, and that’s all that matters.
The real issue is that the Eagles almost certainly told Bradford that they were going to do everything in their power to win the Super Bowl over the next couple of years, the same way they insisted to McNabb that they were doing everything in their power to get over the hump. With McNabb, the issue wasn’t the notion that the Eagles were attempting to replace him. It was the reality that the Eagles used a second-round draft pick to improve the quarterback position rather than using it to improve a position that might have helped their current quarterback and his teammates win football games in the immediate future.
Now, think about it from Bradford’s perspective. Not only did the Eagles pass on the chance to add a blue-chip player who would have helped them compete for the playoffs in 2016, they decided to forfeit three other draft picks that would have had a chance to do the same. That, right there, is where the breach of faith occurred.
Peter King offers his collected thoughts on the Eagles’ trade up the draft board.
It all makes sense—assuming you think Wentz is going to be at least as good as Donovan McNabb was for this franchise, and assuming you think you can scotch-tape Sam Bradford’s emotions about being a bridge to the future rather than the quarterback of the future. “We’re not looking to get rid of Sam Bradford—at all,” said Roseman. “He’s our starting quarterback.” Roseman and the Eagles have to hope that Bradford works diligently to put together the best season of a star-crossed career, so he can be dealt in 2017 to a team that would view him as the passer of the future.
It’s interesting how the two organizations saw the bounty from the picks differently. Cleveland didn’t want everything in this draft and next year’s; Philadelphia agreed. “Being able to spread out the compensation was important to us,” Roseman said. It would have been daunting to not have a one or a two next year. Moving the two to 2018 helped us.”
There will be pressure to be right on Wentz, for this reason: The Eagles have denuded the next three drafts to make it happen. After picking at 2 this year, Philadelphia has one pick in the next 150 selections, at number 79 overall. Next year they may not pick in the top 50. In 2018 they’ll have one pick in the first two rounds as well. “This was a hard trigger to pull, obviously,” Roseman said.
We’ll further explore Sam Bradford’s trade demand.
Asher Dark contributed to this post.