Reports surfaced on Thursday that the Philadelphia Eagles are unlikely to trade Sam Bradford during the 2016 NFL draft.
Instead, the team is hellbent on Bradford starting over the short term with the team’s No. 2 overall pick Thursday night, likely Carson Wentz, waiting in the wings.
The theory in and of itself seems sound. Give the keys to the offense to the veteran for the next two years while letting the small-school product learn the nuances of the NFL from the bench.
At this point, it’s just a theory.
Bradford is not happy about the Eagles trading up to the second spot to select a quarterback just two months after he signed a pricey two-year contract with the team.
Now comes this rather alarming comment from new Eagles head coach Doug Pederson:
Doug on Bradford: "We're still in April. I've said all along, when he's here, he's our guy. It's just unfortunate where we are right now."
— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) April 28, 2016
“When he’s here, he’s our guy.”
The problem with that statement is that Bradford doesn’t plan to show up for off-season activities until he’s traded.
Philadelphia surely is in an unfortunate situation here. In this, Pederson is 100 percent correct. By virtue of the blockbuster trade up in the first round, the Eagles have put themselves in a situation where their incumbent starter is not happy.
Burning bridges on that end could potentially force Wentz on to the field much sooner than the organization would like.
Despite all this, Philadelphia holds all the cards here. Bradford might have signed that two-year deal without the knowledge that the team was going to look for a long-term replacement. But he still signed the deal.
Should Bradford decide not to show up for required off-season activities, the fines will act as an incentive for him to report to camp.
Without a huge trade market for his services and with an Eagles brass that’s not prepared to trade him, there really isn’t much leverage here for Bradford.
It will be interesting to see if the Eagles say enough is enough with the rhetoric and move on from the quarterback completely.
That would enable Chase Daniel and potentially Wentz to compete for the starting job while completely washing their hands of a quarterback that’s becoming nothing more than a distraction. A quarterback that doesn’t seem willing to actually compete.