TRADING Sam Bradford to the Vikings leaves us with a hole at QB, but he absolutely had to go, and the sooner the better. While statistically Bradford was far and away the best QB on the roster this preseason, that fact wasn’t at all important. In fact, all the important stuff lies beyond the surface of this trade.
This season most fans and pundits had very low expectations for the Eagles. Many expected us to win fewer than 7 games. So this season (at least for Eagles management), made for a great laboratory. There were almost no downsides to how any of this could turn out for them.
Four weeks ago, talk of the postseason was on nobody’s lips but mine. Then we went 4-0 in the preseason, and casual fans (of which most fans are), started talking playoffs. An expectation was starting to form among the fan base, which would wreck the Front Office’s perfect, consequence-free lab. However, trading Bradford now, de-legitimizes any media talk whatsoever of the Eagles making a grab for the division, and keeps that lab safe.
Bradford was out of Philly after 2016 anyway. We all knew that. That was no secret. Barring injury, Carson Wentz will open Week One of the 2017 season as our starting QB. Also no secret. Everyone already knew what the future held after this season ended. So the last thing the Eagles needed, was for Bradford to complicate things by leading the team to a division win. And god forbid, a playoff win.
Take a second look. As of right now the QB’s on this roster look like Chase Daniel, Carson Wentz and McLeod Bethel-Thompson (who might stick now). Here’s what everyone looked like in the preseason:
Wentz’s numbers next to Bradford’s are appalling. Even making an allowance for him being a rookie, they’re still appalling. Bradford is no Hall of Famer, but he knows the in’s and out’s of being a starting QB. Daniel and Bethel-Thomspon don’t. In the regular season they’ll do just badly enough for you to keep looking for Wentz.
Wentz will be peppered in here and there (after his ribs heal), but making his first start Week 7, at home vs Bradford and the Vikings, would be sheer poetry. A controversy-free transition, complete with the home crowd roaring Wentz’s name, hope in the air, and (in my George Washington Duke voice) “Old lion vs young lion!”
Hey! Does anyone want to know why Minnesota would give up so much (a 1st and a 4th rounder) to get Bradford? You don’t give up a first rounder to replace a QB who’s only slated to miss 16 games. Giving up next year’s 1st rounder for a guy who sits on your bench next year? Nobody buys that.
My guess is that the damage to Teddy Bridgewater‘s knee is more extensive than they’re letting on at this point. I’d wager that Bridgewater’s injury is not only career-threatening, but that some in that organization see it as likely career-ending. Bradford however, is locked in at a reasonable rate for two years, and he gives the Vikings someone to pair with RB Adrian Peterson. That aids the perception of the Vikes still having a chance to win the North, which helps ticket and merchandise sales.
There was much more to this trade than meets the eye.
Leave a comment below and lets discuss what you think of the trade.