Missanelli: Eagles Have No Choice But to Bring Bradford Back
Here is the current state of the Philadelphia Eagles:
The Birds are operating with basically one man in charge: one Howard Roseman. The Eagles currently have no director of college scouting on board, and they haven’t filled the position of permanent pro personnel director. In fact, they have announced publicly that the position won’t be filled until after the forthcoming NFL draft because that’s when most of the “good” candidates for the position will be available.
In the meantime, a phantom named Tom Donohoe is supposed to be lending a hand in that area, though Donohoe lives in Pittsburgh and it’s not clear whether he even attended the recent Senior Bowl practices and/or game.
Which brings us back to Roseman.
Never before has a man risen from the ashes like Howie Roseman. Dispatched to the equipment room a year ago by team owner Jeffrey Lurie — at the behest of coach Chip Kelly — Roseman hung around long enough to make a triumphant return to the front office. It is clearly his show today. He now gets to play NFL football general manager, his lifelong desire. And it scares me a little, even though Roseman has made a couple of contractual master strokes lately, signing core Eagles players to long-term deals.
Doug Pederson, the new coach, seems to be a mere spectator to the Howie show right now, which is probably the way Lurie wanted it when he re-exalted Roseman.
I don’t know how you feel about Pederson right now, but I sense a little naiveté in his voice. In a radio interview this week, I gave the new coach a chance to take back his foolish answer at his introductory press conference about the slow pace of the Kansas City offense in its playoff loss. He not only didn’t take it back, he re-justified it. The Chiefs didn’t want to give Tom Brady the ball back, even though they were down by 14 points at the time, so they slowed their offense to a crawl? If my head coach is thinking on his feet that way, we’ve got big problems in Philly, folks. Please tell me Pederson hasn’t inherited Andy Reid’s woeful time management traits.
Which brings us to the most important part of the Roseman-Pederson enjoinder: Who will play quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles next season?
Eagles propaganda has brainwashed its fan base regarding Sam Bradford. He’s going to cost too much money and it’s going to mess up the team’s salary cap. That’s the propaganda. Here’s the truth: The Eagles have no other option but to bring Bradford back. Do you want to suffer through a season with Mark Sanchez as your quarterback? Do you want to live through the growing pains of a rookie in a mediocre quarterback draft class? Do you want Pederson to pluck 6-foot Chase Daniel from the Chiefs to start next year?
Giving Bradford the going rate for quarterbacks of his skill level (think Jay Cutler and Alex Smith) would eat up about 13 percent of the team’s salary cap. If Roseman is such a cap genius, that’s something he should be able to handle, even while signing all of his other important players.
With Bradford as quarterback and a new emphasis on the running game and DeMarco Murray — and with Jim Schwartz fortifying a new 4-3 defense with a stout front that now would include pass rusher Vinny Curry with Fletcher Cox — the Birds are an eight- or nine-win team, which makes them contenders in the NFC East.
I’d rather have that than Chase Daniel.