Bradford’s Reaction Could Kill Eagles Plan
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — If you want to criticize the Eagles' bold move up to the No. 2 spot in this month's NFL Draft, perhaps your critique should center on the tone-deaf assessment that Sam Bradford will accept the status quo with little complaint.
It took less than 24 hours for the first report to surface claiming the current Eagles starting quarterback will eventually try to ask out of his situation now that it's readily apparent that he is nothing more than a placeholder for either Carson Wentz or Jared Goff.
“I’ve talked to a source who said it’s likely that Bradford is going to ask for a trade at some point in time, or some way to get out of Philadelphia so that he can move on with his career somewhere else with a team that is going to be invested in him long-term." Bleacher Report's Jason Cole said. "That’s the kind of solution that Bradford is looking at this point in time."
It's easy to project putting a high-profile rookie in moth balls for a year while using Bradford as the bridge with Chase Daniel as the backup but expecting the Oklahoma product to play the good soldier while mentoring his obvious replacement is a little Sam Hinkie-like in that it fails to take into account the human element of the situation.
That said, moving on from Bradford wouldn't be easy for Philadelphia even if they wanted to accommodate the veteran's wishes to try to get to say Denver or the New York Jets.
After agreeing to pay Bradford $22 million in guaranteed money this year trading him before June 1 would mean $11 million in dead money this season. After that date would be a more palatable with $5.5 million spread over two years.
“The question for Bradford is whether he’s willing to take some kind of pay cut to make that happen," Cole continued.
From the Eagles standpoint, however, the bigger issue may be the 2017 first-round pick they shipped to Cleveland in the blockbuster. If it's a rookie under center for the majority of the '16 season in Philadelphia, all of a sudden that pick is almost guaranteed to be in the top 10 and likely to be a top-five selection, making the original haul even more expensive than it looked.
For the time being Howie Roseman claims nothing has changed.
"Let me be clear – Sam Bradford is our starting quarterback,” the Eagles executive VP of football operations said after the trade was completed Wednesday. “We’ve told Sam that. We intend to support him, and the moves we’ve made this offseason we believe will give us a chance to compete this season."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen