Nov 23, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterbackSam Bradford
(8) before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
I had a thoroughly entertaining Twitter conversation with Philadelphia Eagles’ “Insider” Dave Spadaro last week regarding the peculiar situation that is Sam Bradford’s jersey.
For those who don’t know, Bradford is supposedly going to be the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback next year after Chip Kelly traded Nick Foles and – and this is the important part – a second-round draft picks to the St. Louis Rams to get him.
Asked directly during a press conference after the trade, Kelly, in his Kelly way, verified as much.
"Is QB Sam Bradford your quarterback going forward?KELLY: Yeah — Well, Sam and [QB] Mark [Sanchez] are, and I think we have to have two. It was really essential for us to get Mark back here and then when the opportunity with St. Louis came up to get Sam it was the same exact thing. Do you want to lose Nick Foles? No, you don’t want to lose Nick Foles, but you have to give something up to get something."
The followup question regarded whether the Eagles were considering moving up for Marcus Mariota.
"KELLY: Let’s dispel that right now. I think that stuff is crazy. You guys have been going with that stuff all along. I think Marcus is the best quarterback in the draft. We will never mortgage our future to go all the way up to get somebody like that because we have too many other holes that we are going to take care of."
So, there you have it, right? Bradford is the guy (along with Mark Sanchez because, well, Chip Kelly) and the Eagles have no plans to grab Mariota.
But then a weird thing happened, as detailed in this brilliant report by Elliot Shorr-Parks: The Philadelphia Eagles own pro shops aren’t selling Bradford jerseys.
Make no mistake here, these aren’t Modell’s, or Sports Authority, etc. These are stores owned and operated by your Philadelphia Eagles. And your Philadelphia Eagles aren’t bothering to sell a jersey of their very own quarterback.
In fact, as Shorr-Parks noted, while Bradford’s jerseys were available through the Philadelphia Eagles’ website, it was only available in men’s sizes. Ladies, kids, sorry, you’re all out of luck.
This got people curious and asking questions, much to the dismay of our “insider” Spadaro. In response, he tweeted:
"Available on line. Can be made at Pro Shop. Supply-and-demand kind of thing and he has a 1-year deal at moment https://t.co/X2W8cl9wJA"
Due respect to Spadaro, but such a ludicrous statement has rarely been offered. Here are just some of the reasons:
1) We’re talking about your quarterback, the most recognized position on the entire roster. I dare anyone to name a single pro shop of any other NFL team that isn’t selling their starting quarterback’s jersey.
2) Not only that, but people will buy backup quarterback jerseys with astonishing regularity. This has nothing to do with “supply-and-demand.” Open your eyes.
3) It’s because Bradford is on a one-year deal? Really? I guess no one was selling Jeremy Maclin jerseys last year, right? Oh…
After Chip Kelly’s press conference following the trade for Bradford, I believed that truly was it. Bradford was the guy. But based on this new evidence and the flat-out bizarre explanation from Spadaro, I decided something else must be in play.
Spadaro didn’t like this. His explanation should suffice and quiet us all. Those who think it’s bizarre that a professional football team isn’t trying to sell its starting quarterback’s jersey are just nutty.
Our back-and-forth went on a little bit more, with Spadaro adopting his typically snarky tone he directs at those who disagree with his utopian vision of Philadelphia Eagles football. He finally did admit the situation was bizarre.
Yes, Dave, we would, but it goes beyond “unique.” It stinks. It stinks of something else coming and the Eagles not necessarily being committed to Sam Bradford for the season. You either A) know that but can’t say it, or B) are ignoring the facts in front of you.
I have no issue if the answer is “A,” which it probably is, because Spadaro is basically the public-relations mouthpiece of the Philadelphia Eagles. We get that, Dave, and we’re cool with it, but don’t offer up ridiculous statements instead of actual reasons. It’s better to say nothing.
I don’t pretend to know what’s going to happen with the Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback situation, but to think it’s settled is crazy. Something is going to happen with Bradford. Either A) he’s the quarterback and is going to sign a contract extension, or B) he’s going to be used as a trade trip.
The outcome has to be one of those two things. Why? Because, as we noted earlier, the Eagles traded a second-round pick AND a player to get him. You don’t do that for a one-year rental player. And if your own stores aren’t going to sell his jersey, well, Dave, even you should be able to read the writing on the wall.