McMullen: Eagles Have To Move On From Bradford
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — It's plainly evident why the Eagles wanted to use a high-priced bridge to get to Carson Wentz but Sam Bradford's entitlement issues are going to force the organization to adjust its plans.
Whether that means Chase Daniel gets his first opportunity to be an NFL starting quarterback or Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday's opening round of the draft, is force-fed a little sooner than expected remains to be seen but Bradford's immaturity is reaching epic levels as ESPN reported that the veteran is currently refusing phone calls from his head coach Doug Pederson.
Despite that the Eagles are still trying to repair the situation and both Pederson and Howie Roseman affirmed the fact that Bradford remains the team's starter for 2016 when talking to reporters after selecting Wentz and will be welcomed back even though the QB has decided to skip voluntary workouts in an attempt to force a trade.
Roseman has also not spoken to Bradford since the trade request from his agent, Tom Condon, was made but the Eagles' vice president of football operations did offer one message.
"I think that when you look at the draft, whenever you're drafting guys in the first round, there are players that are affected," Roseman said. "This happens all around the National Football League, no matter what position we would have taken, some veteran player would have been affected."
It's an astute observation and Bradford is really no different than say Alfred Morris, who jumped from Washington to Dallas in the offseason, only to be rendered far less important when the Cowboys pulled the trigger on Ohio Sate running back Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall selection.
Despite Bradford's impudence, however, Philadelphia still wants him to be the starter for two significant reasons, namely the 2017 first-round pick that is still to be conveyed to Cleveland, along with the $11 million in dead money the Eagles would be assessed if they moved the disgruntled signal caller.
"Sam is the leader of this football team," Pederson said. "He's the quarterback. I've said all along that he's the quarterback. He's the guy we want leading this charge. When he comes back, he's welcome with open arms."
"Sam's our quarterback (for 2016)," Roseman added. "We've been clear about that."
Maybe it's time to get a little less clear, however, and embrace the future the organization is trying to build.
The Eagles' lone goal at this point should be maximizing the odds that Wentz turns into the next Donovan McNabb and releasing the good-natured, Midwestern kid into a toxic environment with a testy veteran two locker stalls down at the NovaCare Complex hardly seems like the best path forward.
Everyone makes mistakes and the Eagles made one by guaranteeing Bradford $22 million for one year and assuming he would play good soldier when his heir apparent was brought in.
The best way to fix a faux pas, though, is to admit it, take your medicine and move on.
Granted, that's easier said than done even if you are willing to eat $11 million because the potential landing spots for Bradford are few and far between especially sfter Denver moved up in the first round last night to select Paxton Lynch.
Other perceived QB-hungry teams also seem like non-starters as the Jets have no interest in adding Bradford and Sam is not interested in a reunion with Chip Kelly in San Francisco because he dislikes the former Eagles coach's offense.
Roseman needs to play to his strength, however, get inventive and ship Bradford as far away from Wentz as possible.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen