Lingering question about leadership spurred Bradford to request trade

·NFL columnist

After spending the weekend contemplating his fit with the Philadelphia Eagles, quarterback Sam Bradford came to the conclusion that a trade was in his best interests going forward, a source close to the player told Yahoo Sports. The Eagles were informed of Bradford's request Monday morning, a surprising turn after the team believed he intended to move forward with the franchise.

Bradford's emotions since the Eagles moved to the No. 2 overall pick in this week's NFL draft – largely to secure a quarterback – have centered on anger and a resolve to solidify his standing as a long-term franchise quarterback, a source said. After the trade last week, the source said Bradford directly expressed his disappointment in a talk with some team officials, but he didn't indicate a trade desire. Indeed, until Monday's trade request, the source said Bradford appeared adamant that he was a viable long-term answer at quarterback.


That changed by the end of the weekend, when Bradford's initial frustration with the Eagles' draft move hardened during voluntary practices last week. Coming out of those sessions, the source said a question lingered into the weekend for Bradford, specifically whether he was being viewed as a team leader, or a placeholder for an incoming rookie quarterback. By Monday, he had considered his options and ultimately chose to ask the Eagles for a trade.

Philadelphia's initial response was to deny the trade request, a league source said. That stance could change with Bradford relaying his intention to skip coach Doug Pederson's offseason program and miss vital time learning the new offense.

As of Monday afternoon, Bradford had not been granted permission to speak with other teams about a trade, a league source said.