Earlier this week, it was reported that only one Eagles player has reached out to Sam Bradford since the quarterback demanded a trade and stopped showing up to practice. It wasn't hard to guess that the one player was Jordan Matthews. The 23-year-old receiver has been very vocal in his support of Bradford over the past year. Matthews, along with Zach Ertz, also visited Bradford in Oklahoma earlier this offseason. John Clark of CSN Philly recently caught up with Matthews and asked the receiver about his thoughts on the Bradford situation.
"Yeah, a couple of us have been able to [talk to him]," Matthews said. "But at the same time, we understand that Sam is Sam. The way everybody else deals with certain things may not be the same way he does. Sam’s a very private person. He’s going to do things on his time and certain people do certain things on other people’s time"
"It’s just the way it is. So you’ve gotta just understand that he’s not you and he’s going to figure out what he wants to do. None of us can pull his arm and make him do something on his time and what he wants to do. So you’ve just got to respect that and at the end of the day we know we want him here. We’ll just continue to reach out and whenever that time comes, we can get it rolling."
Bradford has been able to get away with skipping practices now because they're held on a voluntary basis. But with mandatory minicamp approaching in early June, there's pressure for him to show up or else he'll be fined. So does Matthews think Bradford will come back?
"Well, at the end of the day, like I said, what I think really doesn’t matter," he said. "So I don’t like to put anything out there in the media or anything that possibly might be misconstrued like ‘Oh, this is definitely going to happen!’ or ‘This won’t happen.’ I don’t like to make guarantees. At the same time, we all want him here, so we’ll see what happens."
There have been questions about how the locker room will receive Bradford upon his return. He seemed to have a good enough relationship with his teammates before demanding a trade, but at the same time players know he's a lame duck quarterback with Carson Wentz waiting in the wings. For what it's worth, Matthews is ready to welcome back Bradford with open arms.
"Everybody believes in him," Matthews said. "Sam is the guy for the job. He’s the best quarterback that we have on the roster. He’s the guy. That’s why we signed him back. You wouldn’t do that unless you really had confidence in the guy. There are a lot of quarterbacks who are in situations where they didn’t know if they were going to sign back with teams, but we got that done early."
"We want him here. All the guys believe in him. I’m one of the main guys that believe in him. So if he does decide to come back or walk through that door, I’ll be one of the first guys to be really excited and just ready to get to work with him."
Bradford and his agent, Tom Condon, have made it clear Bradford wants out of Philadelphia. The Eagles, meanwhile, have said he's their starter and they don't plan to trade him. At some point, something has to give.