Zero people think Sam Bradford and his agent, Tom Condon, didn’t at least have an inkling the Eagles were going to draft a quarterback in last week’s draft, given that they’ve publicly stated as such numerous times. But that’s what Condon wants us to believe, which was already shot down by Doug Pederson late last week.
So, Condon went on Andrew Brandt’s podcast, The Business of Sports With Andrew Brandt, to basically reiterate what he said before. But he also pulled back the curtain a little bit on what went down behind-the-scenes on some things we may haven’t known. But he also said a lot of things we already did.
One of the more interesting things Condon said was basically admitting there was no competition for Bradford. After the Eagles moved up in the draft, that told Condon and his client that Bradford wasn’t their long-term option. They kind of acted like Bradford had just signed a five-year deal or something. Les Bowen of the Daily News broke down some of the interview.
Clearly, if Sam’s in the locker room, all of the other players — the players always know what’s going on — … they know that Sam’s a short-term guy, and he’s just there until the rookie is ready to go. So that’s not a particularly favorable situation for (Bradford). And I know people say, ‘Why doesn’t he just compete and win the job?’ There is no real competition” with a QB drafted so high, that a team had to expend extra resources to acquire, Condon said. “He’s playing, and that’s all there is to it.
“Ideally, (Bradford) would get to go someplace and establish himself and be there for some lengthy period of time. That certainly isn’t going to be in Philadelphia.”
Now, we’re getting to the part that makes sense coming from Bradford’s camp. The illusion that Bradford will be the starting quarterback after this coming season is rather absolute. Hell, Condon and Bradford don’t think he’s playing at all this coming season, despite the Eagles continually saying publicly that Bradford is their starter. Wentz will be primed to take over after this season, and unless Bradford miraculously takes the Eagles to the Super Bowl and, heck, maybe even win it, he won’t be back. I don’t think anyone, Bradford included, thought that was going to happen.
Condon admitted the Eagles were rather steadfast in their attempts to re-sign Bradford, and definitely valued his presence to the team.
Certainly, the fervor that they pursued Sam (with), in terms of trying to get something done prior to the time free agency occurred would give you reason to believe that they valued Sam,” Condon said. “Certainly, the dollar amount and the guarantee amount (indicated) they were committed to Sam as their starting quarterback. Somewhere in there, things changed, based on their evaluation of what they thought was potentially available in the longterm plans for the franchise.”
Condon did not say Bradford was told he would be the longterm starter.
Condon reiterated that Bradford will not appear at voluntary workouts, which resume May 17 for veterans. (However, the podcast was recorded just before last week’s draft, in which the prime possible Bradford destination, Denver, traded up to take quarterback Paxton Lynch in the first round. So we don’t know for certain that position still holds. Condon has not responded to requests for comment from the Daily News.)
If Bradford wasn’t told he was going to be the long-term starter, then why would he sign what’s essentially a one-year deal? That still makes no sense if he and his agent really believe his value is much more than what it actually is. Now he’s mad because he really has zero confidence in his abilities to be better than Carson Wentz. That’s kind of sad for a professional athlete, and especially an NFL quarterback in Bradford’s position.
Condon also mentioned that it’s “not terribly pleasant” in dealing with the Eagles’ fans after this fiasco began, but I think he’s also pitting the Eagles in a no-win situation in the eyes of the fans. They want Bradford gone. The Eagles would be on the hook for a big cap hit if they moved him before June 1st.
Merrill Reese still thinks Bradford will be the Week 1 starter for the Eagles. He might be dealt later this summer. There’s a few scenarios that could play out before or after then, too.
I still think Bradford’s a clown for pulling this now when he signed a two-year deal that’s really a one-year deal. But now we’re getting to the meat of the issue – Bradford thought the Eagles would wait for him to either prove himself worthy of becoming their starter long-term, or not re-sign him at all. The fact that he re-signed made it seem like he didn’t think the Eagles would draft a franchise quarterback. He wanted to be that guy. However, if the Eagles never told him he had a chance to be their long-term quarterback, why would he sign the contract in the first place? Sense, you make no.
Unfortunately, Bradford’s earned zero benefit of the doubt when it comes to that. He needs to go out there, perform, and sign another contract if he plays well. That won’t be in Philadelphia, for sure. One season, 14 games, isn’t exactly leverage after missing, for all intents and purposes, two seasons in a row with ACL tears.
You can listen to the entire podcast with Condon and Brandt below.