Rumors emerged last week that the Eagles and Browns were discussing a trade. The deal supposedly involved Philadelphia sending Sam Bradford to Cleveland in exchange for Johnny Manziel and a first round draft pick. That rumor was later clarified by a report from Jason Cole who said that the Eagles don't want Manziel but the team does want the Cleveland draft pick in order to help get Marcus Mariota.
It's looking like Bradford won't be headed to the Browns any time soon, however. There's no question that Cleveland had strong interest; they reportedly offered up the No. 19 overall pick for him. The problem is that the interest isn't mutual.
According to Mark Eckel of NJ.com, Bradford has no interest in even listening to a potential contract extension offer from the Browns.
"According to a person with knowledge of the situation who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject, the Browns could be out on Bradford.
Not because Cleveland doesn't still want the former No. 1 overall pick, but because he doesn't want the Browns.
"Bradford's agent (Tom Condon) has told Cleveland he won't even listen on a contract extension,'' the person said. "He won't even listen, period. And I don't think Cleveland will make a deal without the extension."
Eckel's report reflects something similar written by Peter King in his MMQB column late last month. Bold emphasis mine:
"I think I can now say with certainty that The Other Team in the chase for Sam Bradford—as many have inferred—was Cleveland. The Browns would have been willing to part with a first-round pick in either 2015 or 2016 (I do not know which year) for Bradford, but there were two problems: One, the Browns didn’t have a quarterback to give in return, and Philadelphia was willing to fork over Nick Foles. Two, Bradford would not have been willing to sign a new contract this off-season if he were traded to Cleveland, and he is willing to consider an extension in Philadelphia. So the Philly deal was really the only one that made sense for the Rams and for Bradford, in the end."
Bradford is set to enter the 2015 season on the last year of his contract. Eckel reports that it's unclear if the Eagles, who have seemingly shown some interest in an extension, will get a new deal done with Bradford. But Bradford's agent is reportedly at least willing to take offers from Philadelphia.
So while Bradford can't actually prevent the Eagles from trading him, he can (and seemingly has) prevent the Browns from trading for him by refusing to sign an extension. Not only does this mean that it's less likely the Eagles trade Bradford away, but it could also mean that it's less likely the Eagles get Mariota.
Then again, there are still plenty of other teams out there. It was reported back in February that teams at the top of the draft order prefer Bradford to top prospects Jameis Winston and Mariota. And there's plenty of time for things to change prior to the 2015 NFL Draft. Stay tuned.