One day after appearing in a radio interview to explain why Sam Bradford wants to be traded, Tom Condon spoke with ESPN's Sal Paolantonio to draw even more attention to the situation. Condon claims the Eagles did not inform Bradford (nor him) that the team planned to trade up to the No. 2 spot in the 2016 NFL Draft to select a quarterback.
"As they were making this plan, it would have been nice if they had told him about it," said Condon, who said that he re-iterated to Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman in a recent phone conversation that Bradford wants out of Philadelphia."
I already explained yesterday why it's ridiculous that Bradford didn't see such a trade coming.
The Eagles made it clear they wanted to draft a quarterback prior to Bradford re-signing. Doug Pederson talked about getting a "young quarterback" that the team could develop. He explicitly said the team was looking for a franchise quarterback. It's true that trading up to No. 2 may not have been obvious when the Eagles were originally picking at No. 13. But if the Eagles were in the market for a young quarterback in the draft, why would it be out of the question that they'd try to get one of the best ones available?
Condon also said something else that I disagree with. (Surprise!)
"Basically, our contention is that the team could have used the draft picks on offensive and defensive players for this season, to win this season," said Condon. "If the plan was to build for the future, where does that leave Sam this year?"
First of all, the NFL Draft is not the only way the Eagles can add talent to the team. The Birds spent over $108.5 million on the first day of free agency alone. And that doesn't even account for the money they spent retaining their own players, including Vinny Curry ($46.25 million). Free agency offers more immediate impact than the draft anyway, which brings me to my next point.
It's obvious a first round quarterback doesn't help Bradford. But it's not exactly like the Eagles have been getting great production out their first round picks in recent years anyway. Marcus Smith played 105 snaps as a rookie. Nelson Agholor was rated as the worst wide receiver by Pro Football Focus in 2015. It's just not always realistic to count on the first round pick being an immediate contributor. The draft is often about long-term thinking, not just filling short-term needs.
There's a reasonable chance the player the Eagles drafted if they stuck at No. 8 might not even be a full time starter. An offensive lineman wouldn't have been guaranteed to start this season, especially if he was only a tackle. How about cornerback? The Eagles already have nine of those on the roster, and that doesn't include Malcolm Jenkins who spends time at the position. A rookie defensive back would have a lot of competition to get on the field. Ezekiel Elliott would have helped, sure, but there's no guarantee he's even going to make it to the eighth pick.
Two of the five draft picks the Eagles gave up don't even factor into this year. One of them doesn't even factor until Bradford's current contract is over. So forget about those for a second. The two picks that the Eagles traded away that could have helped Bradford this year include No. 77 overall and No. 100 overall. OK ... so they're really upset about third and fourth round picks being gone? Think about who the Eagles have taken in those rounds in past years. Third round guys such as Bennie Logan, Josh Huff, and Jordan Hicks weren't immediate starters. Fourth round picks Matt Barkley and Jaylen Watkins weren't even on the opening roster at the beginning of the season last year. My point is that it's far from a guarantee those picks would have helped. Keeping the picks would have been more beneficial to Bradford, no doubt. But let's not act like they gave away a bunch of sure-fire starters that would have helped Bradford this year.
It seems like the more Condon talks, the more weak excuses are rolled out in order to justify Bradford's trade demands. Speaking of those demands, Condon also said the Eagles have denied his request to shop his client.