What They’re Saying About the Eagles

More on the Sam Bradford drama.

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

It seems things never quite settle down in Eagle land. In case you missed it, Sam Bradford threw a wrench into the Eagles’ quarterback plans yesterday when he demanded a trade.

Let’s check in with the national and local media to see how they feel about this development.

Bob Ford on what he thinks will be the result of Bradford’s actions.

He’s going to be traded.

What is worth pondering, however, regardless of what happens, is whether Roseman saw this standoff as a possibility, or whether he believed Bradford would good-soldier his way to being released after one year of his front-loaded, two-year contract. The latter would allow the Eagles to be in position to win this season with Bradford, and then keep winning with either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz next season.

If Roseman actually had that scenario in mind when Bradford was signed March 1, just one day after Goff and Wentz finished off a dazzling NFL scouting combine, well, those are some serious machinations. Had he already decided that, by whatever means necessary, the Eagles would turn the 13th pick in the draft into either No. 1 or No. 2? If so, then to also think the team could have everything – win now with Bradford, win later with the new kid – was a greedy miscalculation.

Jason La Confora is not so crazy about Bradford’s holdout.

Boy, Sam Bradford’s got it tough. If only this kid could catch a break.

You have to really feel for him, suddenly desperate for a trade but having virtually no trade value even before he starting whining and crying about leaving Philadelphia. I mean, there was scant interest in him as an impending free agent, and somehow he found it in his heart to accept $22 million guaranteed from the Eagles with unrestricted free agency just days away. And now those heartless bastards in Philly have the indignity to trade up for the right to select, say, a quarterback project out of North Dakota State who might or might not be ready to start in 2017.

Of course, Eagles GM Howie Roseman also publicly declared Bradford as their Week 1 starter for this season. But how could they try to look after the long-term future of their franchise at the same time Big Game Bradford is already atop the depth chart? The temerity of it all! Aw, life isn’t fair!

I would throw a temper tantrum too, Sam.

I mean, how can Bradford not be irate when he, of his own volition, just two months ago, opted not to further test the free-agent waters and signed a deal that will pay him $18 million this season and possibly $36 million over two years? I mean, sure, this new guaranteed money will bring his career earnings to a cool $100 million since being the first-overall pick in 2010, but a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used it. And, yeah, of all quarterbacks to enter the league since 2010, only Matthew Stafford has made more coin, and despite never sniffing the playoffs in his life, and having a lifetime mark of 25-37-1. Yet after getting hurt yet again last season, Philadelphia was still willing to make him the eighth-highest compensated quarterback in the NFL for 2016. But I totally understand why he and agent Tom Condon would be all up in their feelings and angry over such inhospitable treatment.

David Murphy wonders how the Eagles’ locker room feels about the Bradford dilemma.

Forget about Bradford’s reaction to the trade. Think instead of the reaction of guys like Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz, Bradford’s top two pass-catchers last season and two of his most vocal advocates in the locker room. Think of the reaction of Jason Peters, who has, at most, one or two more chances to win before he seriously contemplates retirement. In opting for North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, the Eagles will be passing on the chance to add a cornerback or an offensive lineman or a running back or a wide receiver who might help the team this season for a quarterback whom they do not expect to contribute for at least another year. In trading away picks in the third and fourth round, they are sacrificing two more chances to do so. And that’s before we consider the impact that the 2017 first rounder they traded away might have had on their hopes for next season.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com isn’t so sure a trade will go down.

We’d be surprised if Bradford winds up being dealt, but this offseason has taught us to never say never. He was given an $11 million signing bonus to sign with Eagles in February, which would make Bradford particularly painful to move. The Eagles essentially will have spent all that money for nothing.

On the flip side, Bradford is only due $7 million in base salary. He’s essentially established as a replacement-level starting quarterback and that could have plenty of value for teams like the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns.

The Eagles must have considered what Bradford’s reaction would be to trading up for a quarterback, although they clearly have been taken aback by Bradford’s reaction to the move. It’s one thing to have a defensive player or a wide receiver holding out of the offseason. It’s quite another to have your presumptive starting quarterback trying to get out of town.

Pro Football Focus’ John Breitenbach names the Jets, Broncos and Niners as three teams that could trade for Bradford.

San Francisco represents the most logical destination for Bradford, not least because their head coach has acquired him once already. Bradford was apparently dismayed at Kelly’s dismissal because he’ll now be required him to learn a new offense. Moving to San Francisco would solve that problem. The 49ers could use him, too. Blaine Gabbert may not be the terrified rookie he was in Jacksonville, but he still only ranked 27th among QBs in 2015 with a 66.5 overall grade. He completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,031 yards, 10 touchdowns, and seven picks. Simply put, Gabbert remains a less than ideal starter, and Colin Kaepernick is seemingly not happy about his current situation in San Francisco. Ultimately, a reunion with Chip Kelly seems most likely if Bradford were to be traded by Philadelphia.

On a lighter note, Carson Wentz wrote a piece for the Player’s Tribune on the nature of North Dakota football.

You don’t get through winters with an average temperature of 12.8° without being a certain kind of tough — the cracked-skin-dried-blood kind of tough.

That toughness comes in handy in a place like North Dakota. You see, up there, jamming your numb fingers against someone’s ice-cold helmet happens every practice. Getting decked on the cement-like dirt is just how a play ends.

And here’s the thing: I love it.

Because in North Dakota, we don’t care for flash or dazzle. That’s not our game. We don’t do things the fanciest way. We do them the right way.

Going through the draft process, you find yourself answering a lot of the same questions over and over. I get it. This is basically a very long, very public job interview. But the question that seems to come up the most is one that almost makes me laugh at this point:

Carson, coming from North Dakota, are you worried about playing against tougher competition in the NFL?

There’s this belief that I’m at some sort of disadvantage coming into the league because of where I’m from. But if you get to know me, you’ll understand that being from North Dakota isn’t a disadvantage. Not even close. In fact, having been raised in North Dakota is probably one of my greatest strengths.