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Sam Bradford looks super weak for demanding the Eagles to trade him


Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

So by now you're heard that Sam Bradford is basically forcing his way out of Philadelphia by demanding a trade and refusing to attend offseason workouts. Assuming the report is true, I have some thoughts on this.

Let me start by saying I can totally understand why Bradford isn't happy about the Eagles trading up to the No. 2 pick to draft a quarterback. He shouldn't be happy about it. That rookie quarterback, who is expected to be Carson Wentz, is a very apparent threat to Bradford's job. Taking a quarterback high in the draft also means that the Eagles will not be taking a player that immediately helps Bradford, such as an offensive lineman, or a wide receiver, or a running back, etc. It's totally reasonable that Bradford is upset.

With that said, I think it's absolutely ridiculous for Bradford to demand a trade and skip workouts. It's not like the Eagles committed to him as their long-term starter this offseason. The team offered him a two-year contract that can very easily be considered a one-year deal since the Eagles can easily cut or trade him after this season. How could Bradford not expect the Eagles to invest in other quarterback options? Especially when he's been injury prone and average at best for the entirety of his career? Even if the Eagles failed to explicitly communicate to him that they planned on taking a quarterback high in the draft, the writing was on the wall.

For those defending Bradford by saying the Eagles aren't giving him a chance to prove he's the answer ... you are wrong. How are they NOT giving him a chance?! Both Howie Roseman AND Doug Pederson have made it crystal clear that Bradford is the team's starter. Roseman literally said this after the Eagles traded up to No. 2 last week:

"Let me be clear: Sam Bradford is our starting quarterback. We've told Sam that. We intend to support him and the moves we've made this offseason, we believe, will give us a chance to compete this season."

There hasn't been talk of Bradford splitting reps or having to earn the starting job in a quarterback competition this summer. It's been made clear he is the undisputed starter for the 2016 season. He has every chance to go out and play well in 2016 and prove he's the long-term answer. He could force the Eagles to keep Wentz on the bench for the foreseeable future as long as he shows that he doesn't deserve to be unseated. Was that the most realistic scenario? No. It's always been more likely that the rookie would eventually take over. But that doesn't mean Bradford could have tried to prevent it from happening.

But instead of toughing it out and being up for the challenge, Bradford is putting up a fuss. Keep in mind this is the guy who has, as Reuben Frank reminds us, has made over $100 million in his career and has never had a winning season or even made it to a playoff game. Or, as Jimmy Kempski put it, this is the guy who received $5.5 million from a deal he signed merely two months is already skipping work because he feels threatened by a rookie 23-year-old who played for a Division I FCS school. That's some real weak shit.

It's also pretty weak that Bradford was ever touted as a "leader." That's what starting quarterbacks are supposed to be. A true leader does not abandon his team like this. A true leader does not stir up unnecessary drama in order to benefit himself and hurt the rest of the team.

And now Bradford has potentially put the Eagles in a bad spot. It's not like the Eagles have a ton of leverage in trading a guy who doesn't want to even be here. Bradford's market was never even that strong to begin with. Although he didn't actually make it to unrestricted free agency, his market was reportedly a very weak one. It's hard to imagine some team would give the Eagles a high pick that makes trading him worth their while.

The Eagles don't necessarily have to give into Bradford's demands. He doesn't exactly have the leverage. It doesn't cost him anything to hold out now because these workouts are voluntary, but he'll start losing money once mandatory practices start taking place. It's going to be awkward if the Eagles have to force him back into being their starter, though.

Bradford being the starter for the Eagles in 2016 would be mutually beneficial for both sides. He'd have a chance to prove himself as the long-term starter. Or at least have a good enough season so that he can demand a trade AFTER 2016 and potentially work out a rewarding contract with a new team.

But now he's just created a mess. And he had no right to do it.

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