Even normally mild-mannered Sam Bradford (above) has been moved to "anger" over the moves Howie Roseman (top right) made to get the No. 2 pick, whom the Eagles hope turns into highly touted QB prospect Carson Wentz (bottom right).
by Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
It is fascinating theater.
The pampered and ever-privileged lead, always given the benefit of the doubt or an outright excuse to justify yet another bad performance, is once again provided reassurance, plus some added insurance, and starts to inhale a good portion of air.
Before an exhale can commence to complete that symbolic sigh of relief, though, the script undergoes a major rewrite, the stage gets revamped and, guess what, a new, wildly ballyhooed understudy is rumored to be joining the show and already has the producers’ hearts atwitter.
Not to mention, in this case, Twitter abuzz.
As the Eagles’ latest drama careens seemingly out of control into a telltale Thursday night viewing of NFL Draft 2016 first-round action, one thing appears to be certain: whether owner Jeffrey Lurie or de facto GM Howie Roseman is Gepetto doesn’t matter. Neither one has any idea what he’s doing.
Not trying to suggest the marionettes, er, players, run the asylum. Indeed, Lurie, Roseman and head coach Doug Pederson still hold the ultimate cards – contracts and playing time.
Thing is, incumbent starting quarterback Sam Bradford can huff and puff and push all he wants for a trade now that the team has parlayed two significant trades into the No. 2 overall pick a few evenings from now, with Roseman announcing to a roomful of reporters that, yes, the Birds would be using it to select a quarterback, and it means absolutely nothing.
Bradford has no leverage for, ummm, anything … and, frankly, what exactly is he hoping to achieve anyway? Granted, get the fact that he feels misled, either directly or indirectly, with Roseman and Co. re-signing him to a two-year deal that reeked of an extended trial period for the Once Chosen One to prove himself as a “franchise QB,” as the guy to direct the organization from middle-of-the-pack status to a championship one.
But, fact of the matter is, nothing has changed. He’s still under contract, will receive a king’s ransom of $18 million for this season, and, get this, still has been named first-string QB – no matter what newly acquired backup Chase Daniel does this spring and summer or who the Eagles grab with that coveted initial pick, be it Carson Wentz, arguably the most distorted hype job in the history of the draft and the guy the Eagles truly want, or Jared Goff.
Spin it any way you want, though, and the reality is the Eagles botched things on the harmonious, team-unity front, and, oddly enough, it started with them bringing Bradford back into the fold – at a ridiculous price.
The veteran QB’s agent had floated out an obscene number to indicate what it would take to keep Bradford here, or have him lured anywhere else. Though the Birds got off “easy,” shaving a cool 7 mil off that initial demand, they didn’t exactly escape the obscene contract spectrum (that, basically, makes Bradford untradeable) … and then tossed more green on the fire by giving insane money to Daniel, too.
All with the intent, and expectation, of Bradford starting and Daniel filling in if ever need be.
Then the NFL started going gaga over a largely unknown and unproven prospect from North Dakota State, the Eagles got swept up in the commotion and the entire script was scrapped.
Frankly, it’s comical. The whole thing … and made even more so by the team thinking Bradford would be on board with taking a proverbial shiv to the back in keeping the Eagles somewhat respectable while Wentz or Goff rests comfortably in cocoon-like existence, waiting things out until it was safe again to take the field.
Funniest of all would be if all this fumbling and bumbling and stumbling actually sparked a fire in Bradford that allowed him to become the special player so many, including the Eagles, felt he was capable of being somewhere else while Wentz or Goff flopped here.
Likely, no. Fascinating, yes.
Hear the comparisons all the time.
He’s just like Joe Flacco.
He’s a carbon copy of Ben Roethlisberger.
He’s gonna be the next Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, depending on whether the speaker is seeking to link with the best ever or best right now.
But, really, for me, the guy North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz resembles more than any other in the NFL is Sam Bradford.
There it is, my greatest fear … revealed.
It’s not that Bradford sucks and that Wentz is destined to end up sucking right along with him. It’s just the hype is the same kinda outta control deal now for the latter as it was for the former back in 2010 – with two caveats: Bradford at least had a Heisman Trophy to call his own, and, statistically, he dominated at the level he played.
Yeah, got it. Wentz was the starter for two FCS-level national championship teams that capped off a five-year, title-winning run of excellence at North Dakota State. He also put up nice numbers: 5,115 yards, 45 TDs and 14 INTs in his Bison career.
But Bradford’s numbers (8,404 yards, 88 TDs and 16 INTs) dwarf those, and they came against tougher competition while directing FBS power Oklahoma.
Frankly, couldn’t stand Bradford in college. Thought he benefitted from playing with NFL talent all around him. So, to me, him being pushed as the No. 1 overall pick he eventually became in was ridiculous, and, thus far, his lackluster and injury-riddled career has proven me right.
The concern here is Wentz, essentially, is the same guy, winning as much due to those around him than anything he did … and, frankly, he has displayed even less in terms of production than Bradford did. A lot less.
But, you say, they’re different. Wentz is a big guy, and Bradford ain’t. He’s a better athlete, too.
Well, keep these facts in mind before completely latching onto those beliefs. Wentz measured 6-5, 237 pounds at the combine. Bradford, in 2010, checked in at 6-4 and 236. Wentz ran a 4.77 in the 40-yard dash. Bradford a 4.78.
Oh, and for the nitwits ad nauseam, including the NFL “experts,” who continuously claim Wentz in the second coming of Big Ben, only that he’s faster, consider this: Roethlisberger ran a 4.75.
Frankly, his arm doesn’t stack up with that belonging to the Steelers QB or Flacco, either. But it is similar to Bradford’s … a quality one, not special.
Yeah, sad irony is, the Eagles may dump Bradford … and then pick another him at No. 2 Thursday night. Football gods, say it ain’t so …