Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Sam Bradford Trade, Or I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus

Squeeze The Wheeze
Today, the Eagles decided that a QB that was a year older than their starter, more injury prone, and with much worse stats (albeit with a terrible offensive support cast) was worth $12M in contract and significant pick equity more than just staying with what they had.

And sure, in Sam Bradford they get a 27-year-old guy who is not that far removed from being the overall #1 pick in the draft, a 6'-4" 227 pound guy who can make every throw in the book, and has a little bit of mobility to his credit. He's also got two season-ending ACL injuries, no real track record of significant success in the NFL, and a career yards per catch ratio that says he's been gun-shy about going for any real chunks of yardage, maybe because... his line has been an open sieve, and he's had multiple season-ending injuries.

The point isn't that Bradford is a terrible gamble. or that he can't resuscitate his career in an innovative offense with a reasonable line, especially in the cotton candy division that is the NFC East, at least in comparison to six games a year against Seattle, San Francisco and Arizona. It's also not terribly relevant that Bradford isn't exactly the Mariota-esque gazelle that some believe to be required for a Kelly offense in the NFL.

The point is that they overpaid to get him, when honestly, there shouldn't have been that much of a hue and clamor to get him.

Foles will make $10mm less than Bradford in 2015, and even when he struggled last year, the Eagles won a lot more games than they lost. And with Bradford's deal ending after this year, he's going to get expensive if he plays well, and if he plays badly (or gets hurt), we're back to the Sanchize, which is to say, we're back to .500 football, maybe. And Bradford might have been available for nothing more than an offer in 2016, when his deal is up, especially if he can't get through the year healthy.

Second round picks matter, a lot, in the NFL. You get a guy with a real chance at being a positive player for true budget flexibility, and they usually come in with Serious Hunger, since they didn't get called by every team in the NFL, at least once. There isn't a good team in the NFL that hasn't gotten serious mileage out of their second round picks. And you just gave up one of those for a guy that might, or might not, be all that much better than the guy you gave up for him.

If you are still on the Kelly Train... well, there's a lot more room in the cabin right now, especially with the clickbait swirl of how Kelly is running off uppity black men who can run so that he's got guys who follow The Scheme better. Personally, I think he's just running off people who were expensive or here before him, maybe because they don't keep up with the workouts, roll their eyes during smoothie breaks or poor red zone play calls, or just because winning with a greater degree of difficulty and idiosyncratic behavior gets you more style points. Oh, and this sort of thing might also have cost them Frank Gore, not that anyone in town is going to light too many candles for that funeral pyre.

Me, I just think they paid top shelf for bar booze, and made a skittish fan base even more unhinged. I've been trying to give maximum clearance on the last week of work, and avoid jumping off buildings with everyone else...

But man alive, Sam Bradford. Backed up by Mark Sanchez. And we're supposed to be OK with this?


Anonymous said...

We're looking at a picture that's still in the process of being painted. It's looking pretty splotchy right now, but maybe it will be a masterpiece in the end?

Related: What do you make of the rumor that Bradford might have been obtained to trade up for a higher draft pick?

DMtShooter said...

Anything is possible with this organization at this time, but if the Jets, Bucs or Titans -- the three teams at the top of the draft with obvious QB needs who would seem to be most likely to pull the trigger on Mariota -- wanted Bradford so much, they could have dealt direct with St. Louis. It's not as if Nick Foles is so much more captivating, especially since the rookie wage scale makes taking a QB in the first round much less of a JaMarcus Russell possible grenade then it used to be.

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