The Philadelphia Eagles have one of the most unusual quarterback situations in the entire NFL. What makes it so odd is that everyone knows the team's projected 2016 starter, Sam Bradford, is not much more than a lame duck. After trading up a big package to acquire Carson Wentz with the No. 2 overall pick, everyone knows there's virtually no chance Bradford will be back with the Eagles next season. Bradford himself and his agent admitted this when they requested a trade earlier this offseason.
It's easy to wonder why the Eagles felt the need to bring Bradford back after his uninspiring performance in 2015. According to a report from Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com, however, the reasoning is simple: Jeffrey Lurie really wanted him.
According to a person familiar with the situation with requested anonymity, it was owner Jeffrey Lurie who was the driving force behind the team's decision to re-sign Bradford, as opposed to top personnel executive Howie Roseman or head coach Doug Pederson.
Lurie's desire to bring Bradford back stems from his desire to remain competitive, as opposed to entering a full rebuild, which the team would have likely endured had they let Bradford walk. For Lurie, it is a sign of how he has become much more involved in the day-to-day runnings of the football operations
To some extent, it makes sense Lurie wants to stay competitive in the short-term. No owner is typically going to enjoy punting on an upcoming season. Besides, the NFC East is weak so Lurie could figure the Birds have as good of a chance as anyone in the division to take the crown.
Another thing worth considering is that Bradford was the first quarterback move the Eagles were able to make this offseason. They re-signed him before free agency started. There wasn't a guarantee they'd be able to sign Chase Daniel in free agency or trade up from No. 13 to No. 2 to get Wentz. The Eagles wanted to hedge their bet at the most important position in all of sports. That's not a bad move.
But there are some issues with bringing Bradford back to the 2016 Eagles. For one, the Eagles spent $35 million ($22 million guaranteed) on his two-year deal. That money could have been spent elsewhere on a team filled with roster holes. Another big issue is that, as previously mentioned, Bradford is a lame duck this season. He's going to eat up a lot of reps and game snaps, which could potentially delay the progression of Wentz.
It's possible the Eagles could trade Bradford after the season is over in order to recoup some of the draft capital they gave up in the Wentz trade this year. The tricky part about that is they're relying on an underachieving, injury-prone player to play well enough to have value. And then if Bradford does play really well, which isn't likely, it will at least be a little weird to be trading a player like that away in favor of an unknown such as Wentz.
Perhaps one of the biggest concerns about this report is Lurie's involvement in football moves. It was once thought Lurie was more of an owner who takes a "hands-off" type approach. One who hires people to make football decisions and then delegates to them. This offseason has continued to show Lurie may be more involved than previously realized. Having owners heavily involved in football decisions can be dangerous. Just look at Jerry Jones with the Dallas Cowboys and/or Dan Snyder with the Washington Redskins.
If Philadelphia's quarterback situation turns out to be a success, then there's nothing to worry about. But if things go poorly, the Eagles owner won't be above blame.