The Eagles Need to Give Sam Bradford What He Wants
The Sam Bradford Issue hangs over the Philadelphia Eagles like a turkey buzzard. As much as the Eagles try to ignore it, it squawks and flies from tree to tree, peering down at the Nova Care center, waiting for a dead carcass.
The dead man walking is Bradford himself, the self-deposed quarterback who is living somewhere in Oklahoma, hoping the Eagles do the right thing and somehow trade him to the Denver Broncos.
No matter whom you think is right, the fact remains that Bradford no longer wants to play with the Eagles, no matter how much the front office dares to stare down the barrel of this shotgun. The Birds can ride this out for as long as they want; after all, they have him under contract. But what good would that do? All a Bradford holdout brings is negativity, a bad cloud over the organization. Years ago, the Cincinnati Bengals tried the hard line with their quarterback, Carson Palmer. All that created was an abundance of acrimony and the Bengals finally had to give in and trade Palmer to the Raiders because he made it clear he wasn’t coming back.
Howie Roseman the other day said he has learned not to worry about things that happen in April and May. Well Howie, June is just around the corner. That’s when you have those mandatory mini-camps. And if Bradford doesn’t show up, it’s a subject the media will talk about every day. And that will be a distraction for a brand new coaching staff trying to implement a brand new system.
Tom Condon is Bradford’s agent, and he’s no dummy. Condon knows that as time marches on, teams such as the Broncos, the Jets, the 49ers and the Bills will suddenly realize they can’t go to war with their current quarterbacks (Mark Sanchez is going to start for the Super Bowl-contending Broncos??). That’s when Condon strikes with Bradford and that’s where the Eagles can get fair compensation for their former quarterback.
Despite the public opinion to the contrary, Bradford is not wrong here. Once the Eagles drafted Carson Wentz, he became a temp, a quarterback from which the Eagles were only trying to get one year. He signed his original, short-term deal figuring he could play his way into a longer term contract with the Birds. With Wentz surely taking over the starting job in 2017 (no one invests that much into obtaining the second pick in the draft without plans to play him as a starter after one year), Bradford would be out on his can. He wants the opportunity to play his way into a longer-term deal with a team where that could actually happen.
And I don’t blame him.