Sam Bradford held out for a week this preseason, asking for a trade. It took a few months, but by golly, his request was granted.
Bradford was surprisingly traded Saturday to the Minnesota Vikings for a first round pick in 2017 and a fourth rounder in 2018.
Repeat: Sam Bradford, he of a pedestrian 81.0 career passer rating and a 25-37-1 career record, was traded for a first round pick in 2017. And a fourth rounder in 2018.
This is enough to make Eagles fans run up the Art Museum steps. This is enough to make Eagles fans run through the entire city, high-fiving anyone they see, punching slabs of meat. This is one of those memorable moments in Philly sports history, moments that change a franchise in an instant.
This is insane.
This is insane
Pick any story in the league today. Pick any story in sports today. Hell, even make one up. None of those stories are as surprising as the Eagles trading Sam Bradford on September 3rd and getting back a first round pick. And a fourth.
Starting quarterbacks in the NFL are rarely traded, and never traded eight days before the season begins. Quarterbacks who do get traded are almost never, if ever, traded for first-round picks. It just doesn’t happen in the NFL.
Maybe the Eagles could have dumped one of their veteran quarterbacks for a fourth-rounder to the Vikings, who are in dire need of a quarterback this season after young star Teddy Bridgewater injured his knee in horrific fashion this week. Bridgewater is out for the year after dislocating his knee and tearing his ACL, and there is talk the injury could be much worse, which might have the Vikings worried about his ability to play next year, or ever again.
Trading for Chase Daniel, who has had a bad preseason and is clearly not a starting-caliber quarterback in the NFL at this point in his career, would have made sense. The Vikings, however, are thinking bigger.
Minnesota won the NFC North last season, finishing 11-5, and expected to challenge for a Super Bowl slot this season. Though unlikely to make the Super Bowl this year, Bridgewater was progressing in his career and the team has a good defense, emerging receivers and Adrian Peterson, who is still somehow the best running back in the game.
This was the Vikings’ year, if not to win the Super Bowl then to at least compete with NFC stalwarts Carolina, Seattle, Arizona and Green Bay to get there.
Bradford can fill Bridgewater’s void for a year, or maybe two, and manage the Vikings in a way a team that’s run-and-defense first needs to be managed.
In other words: what if Sam Bradford ends up in the Super Bowl? It would be weird to even see him in the playoffs this season, but that’s surely more likely now in Minnesota than in Philly.
Howie Roseman = Genius
For the Eagles, the move is pure freaking genius. Howie Roseman was called the worst GM in football earlier in the pre-season. He should have that Sporting News article framed on his wall forever, because after this move, the notion that Roseman is the worst in the league is patently laughable.
Again, it’s important to stress this, if Bradford had been traded for just a 2018 fourth round pick, fans would have probably been okay with it. That Roseman got a first rounder — and getting one back in the year Philly is hosting the NFL Draft at the Art Museum — is one of the great moves in team history.
To get a first and a fourth is kind of hilarious. This whole thing is kind of hilarious.
Daniel and Wentz
So, where does this trade leave the Eagles? For the season, it seems Daniel will be the starter until Wentz is ready. We have been saying since the Eagles moved up to No. 2 in the 2016 NFL Draft that Wentz will never sit the entire season, as the Eagles were suggesting their quarterback of the future may do.
It doesn’t help that Wentz missed most of the pre-season this year after cracking a rib, which means the season will surely begin with Daniel as the starter. How long he lasts will depend on how he plays, whether the team is winning, and how quickly Wentz can progress.
Frankly, Daniel isn’t very good, and the Eagles will struggle on offense with a dearth of talent at the skill positions around him. If I’m a defender on the Eagles this year, I’d expect to be on the field a lot in the first few weeks. But the team has a bye week in Week 4, which means Wentz could have a month to get himself into NFL shape in time to start Week 5, with 13 games still to play in the season.
And even if the Eagles have a terrible season, they can smile at the notion that building for the future got easier by getting a first-round pick back for next year. Sure, it won’t be their own pick (they wish it would be that now), but it’s a first-rounder.
Ironic, yes, that how Bradford plays in Minnesota will determine how good that pick will be, but still, the talk all week was that the Eagles didn’t have a first-rounder for next year’s draft, and how the city will react to hosting a draft without a top pick.
That conversation can end, and a new one can begin. The future is now for the Eagles. Holy hell.