Eagles OTA Notebook: Bradford Took Condon’s Advice
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Sam Bradford-Carson Wentz saga is going to be in play for the Philadelphia Eagles throughout the summer but on the first day of on-field OTA work, coach Doug Pederson continued to claim Bradford is "his guy" for the 2016 season.
"Since Sam's been back, I've told him that he's still the number one guy," the coach claimed after a rainy practice in which Bradford got all the No. 1 reps.
Bradford, of course, staged a bit of a mini-holdout after the Eagles traded up to No. 2 overall in the draft to select his obvious heir apparent, Wentz.
Once it became clear that the veteran had no long-term future in Philadelphia Bradford and his agent, Tom Condon, requested a trade and threatened to stay away from all voluntary activities.
Meeting the media for the first time since the dust-up, Bradford went the business-decision route as expected and claimed he followed the advice of his long-time advisor Condon, who believed it was in the best long-term interest of his client to look for another situation.
"I've had my agent for a long time and I trust him," Bradford said.
Once it become clear, however, that Bradford's preferred landing spot in Denver was off the table, he returned to Philadelphia, ostensibly as the No. 1 quarterback, at least for this season.
"I just felt like I needed some time," Bradford said. "I could have stayed here, could have continued to work here, but I’m not sure my head really would have been here those two weeks."
While a speed-bump in the Eagles' master plan to bring along Wentz slowly, it didn't stop anything.
"Sam is still the starting quarterback," Pederson affirmed. "Carson has a long way to go in this system but he's learning every day."
Bradford realizes, though, his starting job isn’t going to last forever considering the haul Philadelphia gave up to get its QB of the future.
“I’m not completely naive,” Bradford said. “If the organization made a move to No. 2, you realize that at some point, it’s not going to be my team.”
Pederson, though, doesn't want his current leader thinking that way.
"I expect Sam not to look over his shoulder," Pederson said. "I expect him to look forward. That's the message I gave to him. He's the guy."
And despite the public perception "the guy" does not believe he was owed anything by the Eagles.
“There’s no promises in this business. (My contract) wasn’t a long-term deal," Bradford said. "It was a two-year deal. I was well aware of that. We talked about that. My goal was to play well for the next two years and create that stability that I talked about for pretty much my whole career. Philadelphia is the place I wanted to be. I wanted to play well for the next two years, create that stability, and then sign a longer-term deal and stay here for the rest of my career.”
That part of Bradford's vision board needs to be revisited but despite the public-relations lumps he's taken over the past number of days, the Eagles' placeholder claims to have no regrets over what transpired.
“I get it. They have every right to be frustrated,” Bradford said when asked about the fans turning on him. “I think the only thing I can do going forward is to continue to get better. Go out there on Sundays in September, play good football, win football games and hopefully win them back. I don’t think there’s anything I can say, it’s all about my actions and what I do going forward.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen