Sam Bradford has not asked for a trade from the Philadelphia Eagles and has no plans to do so, two sources close to the quarterback have told Yahoo Sports.
While Philadelphia could still deal Bradford during the draft or ensuing offseason, the sources said Bradford is prepared to prove to the Eagles that he's a franchise quarterback. He'll embrace the challenge if he remains in Philadelphia, sources said, despite being upset that the team surrendered draft assets that could have helped him.
As for the Eagles' current quarterback designs, a league source said the team is ready to essentially redshirt a rookie quarterback next season, allowing him to learn and grow inside coach Doug Pederson's offense. That player will likely be North Dakota State's Carson Wentz, who is expected to be on the board for the Eagles at No. 2 overall. The Eagles carrying three quarterbacks – Bradford, Chase Daniel and Wentz – appears to be a requirement to secure a patient growth plan for Wentz. Should Bradford go down with injury next season, the Eagles would need a capable backup as an insurance policy against Wentz being forced into a starting role before he's ready. That's why the design calls for both veterans to remain.
Bradford hasn't taken any steps to disrupt that, sources said. That's not a surprising development, considering he's set to earn $22 million guaranteed no matter what happens next season. Indeed, an argument could be made that Bradford is in an ideal situation. Not only does he have another highly paid season to prove to NFL teams that he remains an attractive commodity, but a strong season could turn him into an attractive trade chip in the 2017 offseason. Should that happen, it's likely any team looking to acquire Bradford would want to negotiate a long-term extension beforehand.
It's also not out of the realm of possibility that Bradford plays well enough to convince the Eagles to keep him for the length of his full two-year contract. While it's assumed Philadelphia will want to turn to Wentz in 2017, the Eagles will surely keep their options open if Bradford suddenly excels and creates a situation similar to the San Diego Chargers in 2004. That year, Drew Brees broke through as an elite player for the Chargers, despite the team having acquired Philip Rivers, the fourth overall pick in that season's draft. While most assumed Brees' 2004 season would be his last with the Chargers, the team ended up using the franchise tag to keep him an additional year, forcing Rivers to spend an additional season waiting in the wings.
That situation in San Diego provides some unique perspective into how next season's quarterback mix could work for the Eagles. Most forget that in Rivers' rookie season, the Chargers had both Brees and Doug Flutie ahead of Rivers on the depth chart. In Year 2, Rivers ascended to the backup spot behind Brees. Rivers then took the team over in 2006, after Brees departed to the New Orleans Saints via a lucrative free-agent contract.
While holding Wentz back for two seasons might not be the ideal situation for the Eagles, an NFL source said the team is more concerned with fostering his growth while also being competitive. Having Bradford and Daniel on the roster allows for both of those desires to be served in the interim. And if Wentz's growth curve is more accelerated than expected, the Eagles will surely have opportunities to deal their veterans.
There is no indication that anyone is under pressure to break up the Eagles' quarterback depth chart. Both Pederson and Eagles general manager Howie Roseman have strong job security, and there is every reason to believe that team owner Jeffrey Lurie has played a part in each step of this plan. At the moment, Bradford has $22 million guaranteed to keep him from forcing an issue and the motivation of history to believe he can still control his future.
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