What They’re Saying About the Bradford Trade

Plenty of reactions to the Eagles' move yesterday.

Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

After the Eagles’ surprising trade of Sam Bradford to the Vikings, we compiled the most interesting analysis from local and national media.

Howie Roseman explained why he made the move to part ways with his starting quarterback.

“We did not go into this wanting to trade Sam Bradford. We did not call anyone on Sam Bradford. But after the trade offer they made, we just felt like this was the right decision for our football team,” Roseman said. “The only circumstance that changed was this trade offer from the Vikings. This was not our blueprint. This was not part of the plan.”

Roseman confirmed the terms of the trade and how the 2018 fourth-round pick the Eagles receive is conditional upon the Vikings’ success this season. The Eagles reportedly get a third-round pick and give back a seventh-round selection if the Vikings reach the NFC Championship Game, while Philadelphia gets a second-round pick if Minnesota wins the Super Bowl. The 2017 first-round pick the Eagles receive has no conditions.

Roseman has not yet spoken to Bradford — he left the quarterback a message — but Doug Pederson, whose father passed away last night taking him away from the NovaCare Complex, did talk to the Eagles’ former signal-caller. Roseman added that the negotiations weren’t very “normal,” as there wasn’t as much “give and take” between the two teams. He also noted how Minnesota initiated the conversations, and that Philadelphia received calls from multiple teams this week inquiring about Bradford.

It seems Pat Shurmur played a big role in this trade getting done, according to Mark Craig of the (Minnesota) Star Tribune.

The trade wasn’t even on the Vikings’ radar Thursday night when [Rick] Spielman discussed Bridgewater’s injury and the team’s options before the preseason finale at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings assumed no team would part with its starting quarterback this close to the season. Not even the Eagles, who were using Bradford as a temporary bridge to Carson Wentz, the rookie No. 2 overall draft pick.

Then word out of Philadelphia suggested the Eagles were getting more comfortable with Chase Daniel as their bridge. They were willing to talk about trading Bradford, who is due to make $7 million this season.

The negotiations began Friday night and intensified — but only because of new tight ends coach Pat Shurmur, who coached Bradford in St. Louis and in Philadelphia. It was Shurmur who convinced the organization that Bradford had the intelligence and the work ethic to learn Norv Turner’s offense quickly.

Trading Bradford is worth the risk, from Jeff McLane of the Inquirer.

But Roseman, to his credit, has no blueprint. His flexibility may at times be his own worst enemy. The incongruous plan to trade up for Wentz in the draft even though the Eagles already had Bradford was, on paper, a faulty one.

But the Eagles’ executive vice president of football operations was adaptable enough to get Wentz at No. 2 overall, and he was adaptable enough to trade his starting quarterback a week before the regular season because the return (a 2017 first-round pick and a conditional 2018 fourth) was inconceivably too good to pass up.

Luck, of course, played a role, and, no, not Andrew. The Eagles one day may erect a statue to Bridgewater’s knee.

But Roseman – and Doug Pederson, presumably – would have never been comfortable parting with Bradford unless they believed Wentz was ready or close to it. The rookie may not be healthy enough to play in the opener next Sunday, or the Eagles could wait a week or two or possibly three, but Wentz will start sooner rather than later.

The decisions to give Bradford and Daniel big money, along with trading plenty of picks to move up and get Wentz, have paid off, opines Sean Wagner-McGough of CBSSports.com.

Remember when the Eagles handed contracts to Bradford and Daniel, and then proceeded to trade up to draft Wentz No. 2 overall? Yeah, all of those moves in conjunction with each other still don’t make any sense.

But, due to Bridgewater’s injury, the Eagles were bailed out of their bad decisions.

Now, the Eagles will enter the 2017 Philadelphia-located draft with a first-round pick after trading away their original first rounder to land Wentz. They’ll also go into the 2018 draft with the Vikings’ fourth-rounder (maybe even a second or third-round pick). The cost of those picks? $11 million, which is what they already paid to Bradford in the form of his signing bonus.

Like the Vikings, the Eagles also won the trade. The quarterback-desperate Vikings acquired a quarterback and the rebuilding Eagles, who had a surplus of quarterbacks, traded away one in exchange for two draft picks. It’s a clear win-win.

The Eagles should be happy with correcting one of their offseason mistakes, opines Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News.

Despite being in demanding Philadelphia, Bradford was in a much cooler situation because the expectations were low for the Eagles to contend in the NFC East. The Vikings are the reigning NFC North champions, and had been a trendy pick to trump Green Bay, Seattle, Arizona and Carolina and get to Super Bowl LI.

Instead of holding off Daniel and Wentz to keep a gig, now it’s on Bradford to give the Vikings what that thought they could get from an improving Bridgewater, putting them in position to finish better than teams with Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Carson Palmer and Cam Newton. Good luck with that.

Does Bradford make the Vikings better than if they had just stuck with playing Shaun Hill? Of course he does. But for what they gave up, for a team that still leans so much on defense and the running game, his returns won’t be as good as his cost.

The Vikings are treating Bradford like he won’t cause them to miss a beat without Bridgewater. The reality is, he’s at best an above-average upgrade from Hill.

The Eagles should be thrilled that someone else is now whiffing on what Bradford’s worth.

John Clayton of ESPN In$ider says Roseman and two NFC East teams ended up on the better end of the deal, while Jason Peters did not.


Howie Roseman, GM, Philadelphia Eagles: Roseman showed once again he’s one of the most innovative front office executives in the league. During the offseason, he made two trades that moved the Eagles up in the first round of the draft, allowing them to draft Wentz, their quarterback of the future, No. 2 overall. After signing Bradford to a two-year deal at a salary many people around the league thought was too much, Roseman ended up getting the last laugh. He turned Bradford into first- and fourth-round picks, replacing the first-rounder he gave to Cleveland to move up in the draft. Now the Eagles’ cap picture looks clearer, too.

Washington Redskins and New York Giants: The Eagles aren’t going to be in contention for the division title, and the Cowboys lose a step without [Tony] Romo. The NFC East could be a two-team race between the Redskins and Giants.


Jason Peters, LT, Philadelphia Eagles: Peters has been a great player for the Eagles, but he’s 34 and the clock is ticking. All proud players would like to go out as winners, and it will be a struggle for the Eagles to win this season. Peters also knows Lane Johnson, the right tackle, was given a big contract to eventually move to left tackle. Peters has to hope he plays well enough and the Eagles win enough that he can get a chance to play next year.

The Eagles get an “A” grade from Mike Sando of ESPN In$ider.

We can’t give the Eagles credit for knowing another team would find itself desperate for a starting quarterback as the season approached, but we can credit them for knowing a team can’t go wrong investing heavily in the game’s most important position. Great general managers such as Ron Wolf have preached for years the need to continually add quarterbacks. Former Wolf underlings Ted Thompson and John Schneider followed this advice famously, leading them to draft Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, respectively, even though neither team needed a starter at the time.

The Eagles endured an offseason of criticism for their handling of the quarterback situation. They re-signed Bradford to a deal with $22 million guaranteed. Then they signed free-agent backup Chase Daniel for $7 million a year. Then they mortgaged their future to draft Carson Wentz second overall. Philly’s maneuvering looked like a disjointed mess, but from the Eagles’ perspective, they were simply pursuing the best available avenues as those avenues presented themselves. They had to make a decision on Bradford before they knew they had a shot at Wentz. It didn’t always look like a coherent plan, but the worst-case scenario was having too many quarterbacks.

Bradford wound up costing the Eagles a package including Nick Foles, a 2015 fourth-round pick and a 2016 second-rounder. Philly used Bradford as a short-term rental and as insurance before shipping him to Minnesota for a 2017 first-rounder and a 2018 fourth-rounder. The Eagles can now move forward with both Daniel and Wentz, with the rookie getting a chance to start Week 1 if healthy. They also recoup some of the draft capital spent during their maneuvering for Wentz. Bradford, who made no friends when he whined about Wentz’s selection, is no longer in their way.

Bob Brookover of the Inquirer writes about the impact the trade might have to some veteran players, including Jason Peters.

Actually, it is the executive vice president of football operations who has discredited his veteran players by making this trade. Imagine how it must feel to be Jason Peters, Rodney McLeod, or Leodis McKelvin. Peters is 34 and in his 13th NFL season. He has more than enough money to retire and live a happy, healthy life, but he is on record as saying he wants to win a Super Bowl before that happens.

The odds were long that it was going to happen with Bradford, but the quarterback had provided some measure of hope with a strong performance in his preseason finale against Indianapolis. That, combined with a potentially strong defense, had made things at least mildly interesting as opening day approached.

Now, this season is all about the development of Wentz and it is hard to imagine that is what McLeod and McKelvin thought they were signing up for as free agents during the offseason.

Roseman, of course, would never admit that this season has been trashed in favor of the future, but his answer about expectations for 2016 was hardly reassuring.

“Throughout the offseason our expectations were that we’re going to get better as a football team,” Roseman said. “We’re going to reflect the determination and the drive that this city has. We’re going to be tough on both sides of the ball . . . and we kept 11 offensive linemen and defensive linemen and we’ll see progress. I think that’s the expectation. How that translates, I have no idea.”

What about fantasy implications? Heath Cummings of CBSSports.com has those in time for some of your drafts coming up.

There is no significant downgrade for Eagles pass-catchers.

Again, Daniel was viewed as one of the top backup quarterbacks in the league. Bradford is viewed as one of the bottom third of starting quarterbacks. Whether it’s Daniel or Wentz, there isn’t a huge dropoff here. The one player I would have a concern for would be Zach Ertz.

Ertz had a mini-breakout in 2015 largely due to success with Bradford at the end of the season. I view him as a poor man’s Travis Kelce and have consistently been the highest ranker of him as the sixth best tight end. I’ll be dropping him below Coby Fleener, but not far.

More importantly, I would not expect any dropoff in the Eagles’ offensive efficiency. Daniel has been with Pederson for three years. He knows exactly what his coach wants him to do and he can execute under good circumstances. If the Eagles really think they’re better off with the rookie, then we shouldn’t have too many concerns about him performing much worse than Bradford would have.

Were the big winners in this trade the Cleveland Browns? John Breech of CBSSports.com thinks so.

If you’ve been following the NFL for any amount of time, then you’re probably well aware that starting a quarterback with no experience is generally a recipe for disaster in Year 1.

Just look at Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.

Although both quarterbacks played decently as rookies, their teams still finished 6-10 (Buccaneers) and 3-13 (Titans) in 2015.

With Daniel or Wentz under center in 2016, there’s a good chance the Eagles could end up tanking the season. The simulation experts over at SportsLine see the Eagles regressing this season without Bradford.

If Philly completely collapses and earns a top-five pick after this season, that does them no good, because the pick is going to the Browns.

That’s right Browns fans, your team might win big. The best news is that if Cleveland tanks in 2016, that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, because it means they could potentially have two top-five picks.