The Eagles made a blockbuster move earlier today, trading quarterback Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings for a first round pick in 2017 and a fourth round pick in 2018. The move caught just about everybody by surprise and there are plenty of ways to view the situation.
Without the uncertainty of Lane Johnson’s short-term future or an established Wide receiver corps, the Eagles could have struggled in 2016. The success of the year very much hinged on the play of a quarterback who had a full preseason to prepare without rehabbing an injury and looked set to thrive in an Offense that was suited to his skill-set. If for whatever reason, Bradford was unable to muster up the kind of season needed to create room in the trade market, the Eagles would be left in a tricky situation knowing that the chances of regaining what they gave up for Wentz are now minimal.
The Vikings don’t know how bad Bridgewater’s injury is..and considering they’re getting Bradford this season for $7M, it’s an absolute steal in their eyes as they aim to try and win a second consecutive NFC North title. A first-round pick in exchange for a deep playoff run with a competent quarterback seems fair for the Vikings..but for the Eagles, it’s a ay to ensure they take a first rounder now..because there was no guarantee an offer that generous would ever present itself again.
Considering that Philadelphia is hosting the 2017 NFL Draft, obtaining a first-round pick made plenty of sense and this may have been the best way to do so. Howie Roseman capitalized on the desperation of Minnesota who were hotly tipped as Super Bowl contenders prior to Bridgewater’s terrible injury. Football is a business..and it’s a fact not lost on Howie Roseman.
Football at heart however, is a game..a game in which the most important position is the quarterback. Sam Bradford was by far the Eagles best option at the position and regardless of how good the Defense is, the Eagles need a strong quarterback season if they are to have any success..success that now seems fairly limited. Chase Daniel may have had a consistent Camp but looked wobbly at the best of times during preseason and Carson Wentz is still some way off starting. Rushing and potentially stunting the development of the NDSU product should not be an option for this team..which means Daniel is the default starter.
A quarterback who has thrown 77 passes in seven seasons is now set to lead a team that lacks significant Offensive firepower into the unknown under Doug Pederson. The future may well be the feature, but it’s come at the cost of the present..knowing that Wentz is likely going to see some playing time during the 2016 campaign, the Eagles have taken a big hit and if their season falls even shorter of what are now now decreased expectations, the Browns will be the ones laughing come the 2017 NFL Draft in the City of Brotherly Love..but the Eagles will be a team who have averted long-term destruction with short-term cracks in the glass.
Sam Bradford is one of the most polarizing quarterbacks in Football. People either love him, or hate him. They either justify his play with stats like his 7-1 2015 record when the team has over 100 rushing yards..or seek to downplay his overlooked individual success through injury slams, Offensive faults and criticisms about overall team performance. He will remain as such..but he’s not a Pederson’s problem anymore. With the Elephant in the room out of the way after an offseason with more twists and turns than a race track, the Eagles can move on and look to build the future that Roseman and Pederson envision.
In terms of the regular season, it will be a year of experimentation for the Philadelphia Eagles and in terms of the bigger picture, the team can move forward knowing that they cashed in on Bradford when the odds were stacked against them. The Vikings may go on to stun in 2016..or they, like others before them could fall at one of the many hurdles. Meanwhile, the Eagles will be running a different event entirely..staying out of sight and out of mind, knowing that the future of their franchise has received a jumpstart.