The other shoe dropped today, in the Eagles' shopping spree to replicate the DC Slurs Bob Griffin The Who Cares Era. It turns out that QB1 Sam Bradford, now that he's become well and truly aware just how little GM Howie Roseman cares about his long-term real estate plans in the greater Philadelphia area, has requested a trade. And has also told the team that he's not coming to any more voluntary workouts, no no.
Now, a quick word about the NFL's voluntary workouts: they are as voluntary as breathing. Don't show up for them when you have a contract, and most NFL teams start the whisper campaign about how so and so has leadership issues, isn't a Team Guy, and so on. As a pro football player, you should always show up for these things, and never try hard enough to risk injury, or let management know that you see through their bullspit game of getting extra training camp in by calling it voluntary. It's how the game is played.
The last Eagle of note to not show up for the voluntaries was, of course, Evan Mathis, who coach / de facto GM / historically inept figure Chip "Nero" Kelly took to mean a release was necessary, despite the tam not having another NFL-level G on the roster. Mathis wound up making similar money while getting a ring in Denver, because LOL Nero. And maybe Bradford goes the same way, seeing how Denver needs a QB better than Mark Sanchez, and we all know, first hand, that there is a guy that Bradford can roll.
But back to the issue at hand. Of course Bradford is mad; you would be too. Of course he's not going to just shut up and turn his rage into productive play and a Drew Brees v. Philip Rivers or Brett Favre v. Aaron Rodgers or Joe Montana v. Steve Young moment of Doing Better, because he's Sam Bradford -- aka, a man who has banked nine figures of NFL paychecks without ever conclusively proving whether he was any good or not.
And yeah, he's not going to just be quiet about this, because that's not who he is. He's Sam Bradford, Dammit, #1 overall pick and Heisman Trophy winner and Rookie of the Year (he was that, right? I forget, and couldn't for the life of me care enough to look it up). He's a star! Who went 7-7 with this laundry in a trash fire of a division, who couldn't get more than 2 years on his deal in his late 20s, and whose team just mortgaged the future to get the QB of the future. Of course he wants out.
And, well, everyone in the laundry wants him gone, too. One less reminder of Nero's Era is one less reminder of Nero's Era, and you have to think that between Denver, New York, Cleveland, San Francisco and the other sad-sack QB franchises, some meager little bidding war for a guy that might still be good would develop, even if it peters out at the fourth round level. The team is also saying the obvious lies about OTAs being voluntary, that Bradford is the starter, and never mind that Chase Daniel got a suspicious amount of money to be QB2 / 3. Hell, the team hasn't even made the pick yet; for all we know, they might move it to someone else for a bigger ransom than even the Browns got for it.
But what we do know is that the chance of getting fair value for Bradford's contract is, as stated last week, long gone. That good franchises rarely go all-in like this, especially when the line is an aging mess. That the deal with the Browns makes a ton more sense if Bradford went along in it. That no NFL team sits on a top QB pick anymore, not in the Andrew Luck / Cam Newtown / Marcus Mariota / Jameis Winston era. That Roseman's need to recreate the Donovan McNabb era works fine with Daniel as the new Doug Pederson nominal QB1, but not a guy like Bradford.
Oh, and we also know this: the Eagles management are still small children in a gun locker, and that all of the safeties are off. Also, that someone in the room has "Yakity Sax" on repeat, and the kid thinks it would be neat if he could shoot along to the rhythm. Whee!
So, hate on Bradford for being gutless all you like. I'm tired of his cross-eyed crossed-stars routine, too, and can't imagine that he's going to be the kind of guy you really regret seeing in someone else's laundry.
But know this: he's not wrong to want to get the hell away from this management team. And we might just be jealous, very much so, of his ability to extricate himself so easily.
The rest of us seem to be stuck here.