Bradford Loses PR War, Will Return to Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Tom Condon waived the white flag early Monday morning and Sam Bradford returned to the Eagles.
Condon, Bradford’s agent, told Sal Paolantonio of ESPN that Bradford has rescinded his trade demands and will show up to the team's voluntary offseason workouts, a necessity if he wants to be the team's starting quarterback in 2016.
Bradford did in fact arrive at the NovaCare Complex and the Eagles Tweeted out a short video of the veteran QB throwing with McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
"I'm excited to be back on the field today with my teammates and coaches," Bradford said in a statement. "The business-side of football is sometimes a necessary consideration. My attention and efforts are focused on the participation in and preparation for a championship season: I am committed to my teammates and the Eagles organization for nothing less."
Optics are important in life and Bradford had played the wrong hand almost from Day 1 when it came to his reaction after the Eagles' drafting of his presumptive replacement Carson Wentz.
Former Washington Redskins Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Theismann was the latest to criticize Bradford's original strategy of skipping the Eagles' voluntary workouts while trying to force a trade.
“I can not believe what Sam Bradford is doing with the Philadelphia Eagles," Theismann said on SiriusXM NFL Radio Saturday. "The impression that I get is that this guy here doesn’t want to compete. He’s not interested in playing quarterback. He’s not interested in competing at the quarterback position. He wants it handed to him on a silver platter. Well that’s not the way life is.”
Some may label that take unfair with Bradford's camp certainly among that group. Condon has claimed, and rightfully so, that there is no real competition because the Eagles have invested too much in Wentz to reevaluate their plans even if Bradford plays well for the majority of next season.
Where that spin comes off the rails, however, is that Bradford must play well to continue being a viable option as a starting quarterback in this league as a whole, be it in Philadelphia or somewhere else. And there are no other options for the veteran signal caller after perceived QB-hungry teams like Denver and the New York Jets took signal callers early in the draft process.
“If you think you’re that good, you should be able to beat out a rookie who has no earthly idea of what the NFL looks like," Theismann claimed. "...And it’s disappointing to me because I like Sam. Heck, last year I did a radio show in Philadelphia and I said, ‘Sam Bradford has the ability to be a Pro Bowl player.’ Then all of a sudden Tom Condon, his agent, comes out and says, ‘Well the Eagles should have notified him.’ Bologna.”
The notification part may be the flimsiest aspect of Bradford's argument because that's just not the way the NFL operates.
“They don’t owe me that,” Bradford's former backup, Mark Sanchez, correctly stated in Denver when asked about the Broncos notifying him before taking Paxton Lynch . “They don’t owe me anything like that (or) any of the players. This is their team. They’re going to do exactly what they want to do. I think the message is clear."
Appearing on Mike & Mike on 973ESPN this morning Sports Bash regular Paolantonio claimed that Condon believed that the Eagles could and would spin Bradford off to the Broncos when the original trade request was proffered but that avenue was shut down when John Elway drafted Lynch.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen