McMullen: Bradford Mess Stems From Uncertainty of Draft Position
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — There is problem-solving principle that many medical professionals subscribe to called Occam's razor, which basically states that most obvious answer is, more often than not, the right one.
If you extend that thought process to professional football and specifically, Sam Bradford and the Philadelphia Eagles, you get a much clearer picture of what went on to create the acrimony from Bradford's perspective.
So many are obsessing over what the Eagles ultimate plan was when signing Bradford and the he-said, she-said nature of whether or not the organization was completely honest with the Bradford camp.
The real truth is rather simple.
At the time the Eagles guaranteed Bradford $22 million for the 2016 season, Howie Roseman had no idea he would be able to spin off five picks and three players to get all the way up to No. 2 in the draft and get the player the organization earmarked as the best quarterback in this draft, Carson Wentz.
So at the time Philadelphia proffered its offer to Bradford, it was with the thought that he was the best option the team had at the game's most important position for the moment, at least until 2017 rolled around and the temperature of the market versus Bradford's performance would be measured again.
Things have changed drastically since Bradford put pen to paper and the Eagles were able to get the long-term answer, at least from their perspective, a belief that essentially turns Bradford into a very well-paid, one-year safety net, bridge or any other adjective you want to use.
And the finality of that role is what caused Bradford to request a trade and threaten to miss voluntary work in a desperate effort to find a different organization that would at least give him a chance to fight for the position if he played well, a pie-in-the-sky scenario that just didn't exist, especially at the stipend Bradford was promised.
If Christian Hackenberg was in Philadelphia as a second-round pick or Dak Prescott was here as a fourth-round selection Bradford would have embraced the "competition" with nary a word.
He realizes, however, that you don't draft a quarterback at No. 2 overall as competition for the veteran with a 25-37-1 career record as a starter.
This is Wentz's team and the only question is when does he get the keys?
Like Jacksonville when it drafted Blake Bortles, the Eagles have been steadfast in saying that want to redshirt Wentz for a full year and then make a decision on whether he's ready for '17.
The Jaguars' patience lasted all of four games as their veteran bridge, Chad Henne, faltered and the cries for Bortles grew louder and louder.
While Bradford is more accomplished than Henne was, his little "mini-holdout" also makes him far less popular in an environment that is a little more impatient than Northeast Florida.
Forget about a bad quarter or a bad half, fans in Philadelphia will be clamoring for the alternative after a bad throw and it's going to be very difficult for the organization to stick to its best-laid plans unless Bradford is playing at a high level from Week 1.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen