Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Mid-Air Shoe: The Eagles And Sam Bradford

Tick, Tick, Tick
So this week saw the end of the relentlessly ineffective Sam Bradford holdout to force a trade. Mostly because the meager number of teams where a trade might make sense all make forceful moves in the draft to avoid, well, trading for Sam Bradford. It's all been a very tumultuous couple of weeks in Eagles Nation.

But what happens next is, well, inevitable: Bradford loses the gig to #2 pick Carson Wentz, because the game is fixed. Bradford could play out of his mind this year; it won't matter, because he's older, already expensive, and the owner of an eight miles of bad road health record. The Eagles could be a surprise contender (don't worry, they won't be), and he's still losing the gig. Unless the kid is terrible in pre-season, the fan base is going to want to turn the page to the new guy as soon as possible, because staying with the stopgap is never satisfying. Oh, and by the way, Bradford is the last and most visible reminder of the Nero Kelly Era that's still on the roster, and by the time the season starts, you won't be able to find a single person in the fan base who will admit to ever liking Nero. (Unless, of course, the Niners somehow contend, and don't worry, they won't.) The fact that he threw a 2-week trade me spaz fit will also never be forgotten, especially if he ever turtles up to avoid a hit, or Wentz says a single mean word about him.

Now, I get why the Eagles don't want to start Wentz right away. He's coming from an absurdly under-powered playing situation to the world's most difficult football league, and throwing him in the deep end could scar or stunt his development. There's enough talent on the roster, and they play in such a godawful division, that getting the home playoff game and likely first round loss that is the NFC lEast's lot in life.

But the Eagles already *have* a QB on the roster that can serve as a perfectly functional stopgap: Chase Daniel, who they signed for a suspicious amount of money to be QB2, and an unconscionable amount for QB3. And when I say this, most of the people in the fan base will wonder why I'm giving so much rope to an undersized Detmer-esque back-up who is mostly here because he's new HC Doug Pederson's Kansas City / West Coast Offense binkie.

However, Daniel backed up Drew Brees in New Orleans, and always looked fine in the pre-season there. He did the same in KC. He's got a tolerable health record. He can move a bit, and the arm doesn't seem worse than ordinary. We may not ever learn if he can avoid turnovers under pressure, or win you an important road game, because he'll likely never get the chance to show it. And with an amazing contract for a job where he might never see the field, he's also likely to be in town for as long as anyone on the roster, because owner Jeff Lurie isn't short-leashing this coach for fear of losing his reputation as a smart and/or patient man.

Which leads us to these strong and unknowable questions... just how little did the Browns value Bradford, that the Eagles couldn't put him in the package that lead to the #2 pick? And how much did Nero overpay to get him in the first place?

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