Maybe Sam Bradford Likes Philly After All
Last week the Eagles got stability in their quarterback position, and Sam Bradford got a franchise tag contract without really getting a franchise tag contract.
Here’s the way his contract breaks down:
Bradford got a two-year contract that can make him a maximum (with incentives, roster bonuses and such) of $35 million. He got an $11 million signing bonus, but his salary cap this year for the Eagles is a manageable $12.5 million. In reality, Bradford will make $18 million this season in salary and the Eagles can buy him out of the second year of the contract for $4 million. Essentially, they have guaranteed him $22 million and he may only play for them for one season.
I was able to snag a radio interview with Bradford on Friday, where he swore up and down that Philadelphia was the place he wanted to be. The cynic would answer by saying that perhaps Mr. Bradford didn’t have any other offers (or any significant offers) from elsewhere around the league and his agent, the famous quarterback representative Tom Condon, came limping back to the Eagles to make what essentially is an under-market deal. It’s only two years and not the long-termer that most quarterbacks with his skill set get.
But before I could invoke the Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire line, Bradford was selling me on the merits of the Eagles. He said he really liked the locker room, the guys on the team, and had good camaraderie with them. He said he really liked the city of Philadelphia, especially the restaurant scene. When I asked him about living in Philadelphia, he revealed that he’s more of a suburban guy and that Philadelphia is a “good place to visit.” What do you want? The cat is from Oklahoma.
He said he liked Philadelphia so much that it didn’t matter what the length of his contract was. Now, that’s just straight bull feathers. No professional athlete would settle for a short term contract when they can get a longer term contract. It’s a security thing. The bottom line is this was the best Bradford could get and he better make good this coming season (perhaps in the form of a division championship in a very weak NFC East Division), or he’s probably out the ranch gate.
“I just really enjoyed my time here last year,” Bradford said, though many Eagles fans might blanch at that statement since the team essentially fell apart last season. “We have a special group of guys in that locker room and I don’t think we’re that far off from being a really good team. We’re close to putting together something really special.
“And being part of a city that has so much sports tradition and trying to get this team back to where it needs to be, I just wanted to be a part of that process.”
OK, fair enough.
I see the Eagles as a division contender next year. And if they can somehow forget a 9-7 record in this terrible division, they’re going to host a playoff game. The caveat is that they have a really tough schedule and 8-8, or 7-9 is more likely. Will that be enough to keep Bradford around for another season? That remains to be seen.
Here’s something you maybe didn’t know about Sam Bradford: He plays the cello. He said he hasn’t picked it up for several years now, but could probably give us a little Yo-Yo Ma if he put his mind to it. Apparently, this is a guy who can do anything he puts his mind to. He doesn’t look like the most athletic guy to come down the pike, but he was an all-state basketball player in Oklahoma (and played on AAU teams with Blake Griffin), he’s a scratch golfer, and apparently he was a good enough hockey player (yes, in Oklahoma!) to consider moving away to play junior hockey in Canada.
With that kind of pedigree, perhaps we can trust him, Chip Kelly, to call an audible now and then at the line of scrimmage.