Well, this is interesting.
Former St. Louis Rams and current Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford is reportedly seeking a trade following the Eagles' big move to acquire the #2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft from the Cleveland Browns last week.
Per Adam Schefter:
Eagles have been informed Sam Bradford wants to be traded and he will not be showing up for their off-season program any longer, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 25, 2016
And on a Facebook post (but ayo Schefty, stop breaking news on FB...it's 2016...):
It’s only natural, but those who have spoken to Sam Bradford say he is not happy with today’s trade.
"He’s hot," said one source. "Who wouldn’t be? This is Philly saying, ‘We don’t see (you) as long-term answer.’ He’s mad and wants to show everyone who’s best.’’
It's not a great look for the Rams' former franchise QB and #1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, especially given that Bradford was re-upped on a sizable two-year deal in early March.
The problem for Bradford is now that he's cornered in. On that new contract, it's hard to see who would be willing to take on a contract that guarantees $26m over the next two seasons for a QB with a 25-37-1 starting record. No, QB Winz aren't a sensible thing, but we're not talking about a small sample size. Moreover, Sam's at least certain to maintain a hold on the starting job at least for the near future in Philadelphia regardless of which QB the Eagles are all but certain to take following the Rams' selection of either North Dakota St. QB Carson Wentz or Cal QB Jared Goff. at #1 overall.
I do have to wonder, though, how much the relatively undemanding environment throughout the Rams franchise and fan base in recent years molded this kind of speculative attitude on Bradford's part. Consider the reaction from Brandon Lee Gowton, the manager over at Bleeding Green Nation, the community for Eagles fans. It was, well, very Philly. And well it should be.
But consider that the Eagles' fan base, and obviously the franchise that heeded its calls, shipped off QB Nick Foles after contributing to two 10-win seasons. They fired former head coach Chip Kelly after two winning seasons out of three and a 26-21 record. That's a franchise and a fan base with COMPLETELY different demands and expectations than the Rams and our fan base.
And perhaps that's what Bradford is responding to. An expectation of commitment to unfettered mediocrity that always offers the promise of something better that never comes.
It's how we raised him.
(UPDATED at 1:11pm ET by 3k)
I thought this stream of tweets from NFL Network's Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) was worth including here to explain the real hinge on Bradford's employer...uh, current and future:
Bradford has a roster bonus owed to him on the 5th day of 2017 league year worth $4 million, which he already knows he won’t see in Philly.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) April 26, 2016
While any team trading for him could also cut him to avoid that roster bonus, they’d still owe another $4M base salary guarantee for 2017.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) April 26, 2016
In other words, no trade guarantees Bradford’s long-term future. He knows it. But at least elsewhere, he has a CHANCE at that 5th day bonus.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) April 26, 2016
I will say this: The idea of this being a trade "demand" seems very lame. Request? Sure. But Bradford does not possess contractual leverage.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) April 26, 2016
If, for instance, Bradford holds out of training camp, his bonus could be rescinded, incrementally, up to 25 percent starting after Day 5.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) April 26, 2016