‘Happy’ Bradford Meets the Media
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Despite plenty of rumors to the contrary, Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford claimed he never entertained thoughts of leaving Philadelphia and painted himself as grateful for his new two-year deal.
Moments after officially signing the deal, which could net the veteran $36 million over the next 24 months if everything breaks the right way, Bradford met the media at the NovaCare Complex Thursday and seemed relieved that he wouldn't be starting over yet again.
"It's one of those things, I told you guys at the end of the year that this is where I wanted to be, I wanted to be back here," Bradford said while insisting he instructed his agent, Tom Condon, to get something done in lieu of testing free agency.
"I knew that, so to finally get it done and to know I'm going to be back here and that I won't have to worry about anything else, it was a huge relief to get that phone call this week."
The veteran also dismissed fears that the short length of the deal would have an impact on his psyche moving forward.
"I'm not really concerned with the length of the contract," Bradford said. "My main objective was to be back in Philadelphia. It just happened on a two-year deal, and that's perfectly fine with me. I would've preferred a 100-year deal, if they wanted to give it to me.
"Like I said, it's one of those things, I just wanted to get back in Philadelphia. My agent felt like it was a great deal for both sides. I think the organization felt the same way. As long as I continue to play the way I know I can, it shouldn't really matter."
Bradford also seemed very excited about regaining some autonomy at the line of scrimmage as he moves away from Chip Kelly's spread, tempo-based offense into Doug Pederson's more traditional west-coast scheme, noting that the first-year coach's beliefs are similar to those Pat Shurmur had with Bradford in St. Louis.
“I think the fact that (Pederson) played the position was a huge bonus for me,” Bradford said. “I think, being able to have conversations with someone who has been on the field and who has seen it from the quarterback’s perspective — I think that was huge. Also, the fact that the offense is very similar to what we ran with Shurmur when I was in St. Louis. It’s something that — obviously it’s going to be new, it’s going to be a transition, it’s going to take time — but it is something that I am familiar with.
"It's one of those offenses where if your feet are in rhythm, everything else follows."
That's important because Bradford blamed part of his early-season struggles in 2015 on shoddy mechanics when it came to his footwork, largely because he was rehabbing from his second torn ACL and was unable to work on fundamentals in the offseason.
That changes this time around because Bradford is healthy as we move into the spring and summer.
"It's huge," he said of being able to work at full speed. "I'll obviously be able to put some weight back on, get some strength in my lower body and to not have to rehab, to not have to worry about when am I going to be healthy, when am I going to be able to throw, when am I going to be able to take the field?
"To not have those question marks and be able to focus on getting myself into the best shape possible and getting ready for the spring program and getting myself ready for the [organized team activities], I think that's a huge advantage."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen