After realizing the team would not honor his trade demand, Sam Bradford returned to the Philadelphia Eagles' offseason workout program earlier this week. Even if the Eagles did plan on trading Bradford, there was never any indication there was a strong market for the veteran quarterback. The lack of interest can be at least partially attributed to Bradford being an injury-prone, mediocre passer. Another factor could have been the Eagles' asking price.
"My sources tell me the Eagles were asking for a lot," ESPN's Andrew Brandt said in an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic on Wednesday afternoon. "Maybe a second round pick. Maybe two second round picks. Maybe more."
The Denver Broncos were the only team linked to Bradford following his trade demand. It was reported at the time that the Eagles' asking price was too high. The Broncos then went out and selected Paxton Lynch in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, which ended any unlikely possibility of them trading for Bradford.
Some have wondered why the Eagles didn't just trade Bradford for anything they could get in return. They wonder why Bradford is still around knowing that he's a lame duck starter at quarterback. It's only a matter of time until the Birds eventually hand the reigns to Carson Wentz. Why not let the rookie play now?
The problem with taking "just anything" that another team offers for Bradford is that it's bad business. Trading Bradford would have meant $11 million in dead money for Philadelphia. It's hard to justify spending all of that money in exchange for a mere, let's say, sixth round pick. Such a trade would have also set a terrible precedent. By giving into Bradford's trade demand the Eagles would have looked weak and allowed the player to dictate the terms of the deal. What would stop other players down the line from expecting the same treatment?
In any case, it's all moot now. Bradford is back and the Eagles are happy to have him as their starter in the short-term. Philadelphia feels like they can be competitive in a weak NFC East.
A Bradford trade was never realistic this year. Next year, however, might be a different story. Trading Bradford after this season will save the Eagles $17 million in cap space. It would also clear the way for Wentz to take over as the starter.
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