The Philadelphia Eagles should not hesitate to trade Sam Bradford.
In what other job could the decisions one makes today not get fairly judged for at least another couple years? Or the judgment of one sole decision have a years-long impact?
Both apply for the general manager of a franchise that just paid a premium for the NFL’s second overall draft pick.
Howie Roseman, who has arguably had the busiest offseason of any league executive, now has the potentially-unenviable task of having everyone judge him solely on the outcome of this one particular transaction, one that moved his squad up the draft chart by a measly six selections.
If they select a Carson Wentz—which at least today seems a foregone conclusion—the grade would remain incomplete until he finds his way on the field, which could be a little while with two freshly-signed and generously-paid guys ahead of him on the depth chart.
Or maybe not.
Apparently, players who just sign a lavish new contract to be the next starting QB don’t take kindly to their employer mortgaging its future weeks later to find his replacement. Bradford, who by all accounts was rightfully pissed when the deal was consummated, may soon ask to be traded.
So now that a thinly-veiled lack of confidence has been placed in the incumbent starter, things can go in the following directions:
- Bradford takes Roseman’s move as a personal slight and parlays it into a career year.
- Bradford can’t handle the pressure of what amounts to a “lame duck” year and either self-destructs and gets replaced mid-season by Chase Daniel.
- Bradford holds his own until his left knee falls off in Game 4, because Sam Bradford.
- It’s all a moot point and the Eagles don’t select a quarterback after all. Roger Goodell promptly suspends Roseman for four games for violating the league’s sanity policy.
- Bradford gets traded.
In theory, No. 1 could be filed under Good Problem To Have, although it could signal a change of heart from the Birds’ brass and at least force the conversation of a Bradford extension. This would then prolong the incomplete trade grade and force the top draft pick to gather dust a little longer. True, it worked out well for Steve Young and Aaron Rodgers (and no, that’s not to imply that Bradford is Joe Montana or Brett Favre).
Results 2 and 3 would not surprise many, and would at least provide some sort of a transitional bridge for a guy previously playing home games in Fargo, N.D.
I kid on No. 4, but would we really be totally shocked?
But, like Seven Minute Abs, No. 5 makes total sense.
At this point, there’s been enough invested in this trade that it’s clear where the Eagles are staking their future. Therefore, why forge ahead with a lame duck under center if there is a market out there to get something of value for him instead? And worst case, if Wentz—or whomever—doesn’t pan out, at least Roseman hedged his bets with not only whatever they can get in return for Bradford, but maybe even with whatever additional assets he can sign with the extra money left by whatever team was
able to take on his salary.
More than that, there’s not much worse than a player tasked to lead a team that doesn’t really want him.
Better yet to pull the trigger before the draft kicks off. Maybe a team like the Jets determine they have enough pieces in place to make noise with a veteran as opposed to rolling out a rookie. Or perhaps some poetic justice in San Francisco with Chip Kelly, who seems to have an affinity toward former players. Then sit back and let karma do its thing.
Whether it was the intended outcome or not, obliging a demand from Bradford could be the best possible scenario. Chase Daniel, Doug Peterson’s protégé while with Andy Reid’s Chiefs, can now be Pederson’s Pederson to a Wentz’s Donovan McNabb while with Reid’s Eagles, circa 1999.
It’s all beginning to feel like an incestuous déjà vu, right down to the pick number.
And if it all leads to another decade-long era of contending, so be it.