It gets pushed a lot in these parts. From year to year, week to week, game to game and, heck, even play to play, we can erupt in an emotional frenzy over the simplest and smallest of things, certain that they will derail our teams’ quest for success, fair to middling to championship.
Injuries. Trades. New coach.
Anything that is cause for change creates quite the commotion in the Philly region, stretching from the fan base apparently right up to the front offices of the professional sports franchise.
Which explains why we’re so often a city overrun with old, antiquated rosters and staffs whose only true value is the memories they created years before. Or completely overrated individuals whose only true value is the potential they tease the populace with but never actually fulfill.
With that backdrop, it is no surprise serious politicking for the Eagles to keep Sam Bradford emerged from the moment media reports started wafting out of camp in his first summer in town that professed his passing accuracy prowess, arm strength and all-around super-guy status. Many bought in then. Others would later after possibly the most ballyhooed eight weeks of meaningless stat-accumulating drivel of all time completed its, yawn, 4-3 stretch.
Never gonna happen here, though.
So, while the scared-to-move-on masses keep hitting the button and simultaneously screaming “we can’t get anyone better,” the mind wanders …
What if the Eagles opted to let Bradford walk?
No question the free-agent class of QBs is weak this year. Not a single name jumps out and screams “major upgrade.” That’s not to say one wouldn’t be, but at this point, with the information and video tape available, we really don’t know.
Kirk Cousins. Not for nothing, but the Washington vet in his first season as a starter blew away anything Bradford has done in six years as one. Granted, the sample size is small, and he’s probably recognized more for his “You Like That” rant than anything he did on the field. But he’s a year younger, thus far free from the injury bug that has plagued the Birds’ QB and, at this point, more athletic. Then again, who isn’t? If the Redskins don’t sign him or franchise him, the Eagles would be foolish not to go after him.
Brock Osweiler. The big unknown, and by big we certainly include his 6-8 frame and the right arm attached to it. Lost amid Peyton Manning’s second Super Bowl victory is the fact he and the rest of the Broncos likely never get there without Osweiler leading Denver to a 5-2 record while the NFL legend was out due to injury. Three years younger than the Birds’ QB, Osweiler posted a better TD to INT ratio, yards per passing attempt average and total quarterback rating than Bradford in 2015.
Ryan Fitzpatrick. Now 33, the geezer of this group, and forever ridiculed, usually unfairly, for his Ivy League background, “Fitzie” had the Jets vying for a playoff spot in the final game of the season. Make fun of him all you like, but he doesn’t get injured and his 2015 campaign, which included career highs in passing yards (3,907) and TDs (31), tops what Bradford did here, or in St. Louis during any of his five years there.
TAKE A FLYER
Chase Daniel … Kansas City backup. Connection to new Eagles coach Doug Pederson has him being suggested as a viable option. OK with giving the guy his first real shot.
Drew Stanton … Arizona backup. Like the guns, not the dancing. At times has looked good filling in for Carson Palmer. Injury prone as well, but at least he ain’t Bradford.
Matt Hasselbeck … Indianapolis backup. Same people who rave about Bradford consider this guy a journeyman. Career numbers and accomplishments beg to differ.
Matt McGloin … Oakland backup. If we’re gonna get inundated by Penn Staters in the fall around here, might as well get the Blue & White version of Daniel.
Michael Vick … Pittsburgh backup. Former Eagle. Still athletic at 35. Not Bradford. Works for me, especially in a groom-the-protégé sensei role.
Thing is, even if none of these guys float the Eagles’ boat, then make a deal for someone else. Remaining stagnant with Bradford does one thing, it keeps them exactly where they are: mediocre at best. Just like him.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
TIME TO MOVE ON
SAM'S SPECIAL 7
A rundown of the second half of Sam Bradford’s 2015 season, which apparently has so many wanting the Eagles to keep him.
November 8, 2015 | Dallas EAGLES 33, COWBOYS 27 (OT) Completes 25 of 36 passes for 295 yards, including a 41-yard TD pass to Jordan Matthews in the extra frame to beat a 2-6 squad.
November 15, 2015 | Philadelphia DOLPHINS 20, EAGLES 19 Completed 19 of 25 passes for 236 yards and one TD, racking up the highest passer rating of his second half at 118.1 before getting injured in a loss to a 4-5 team.
December 6, 2015 | Foxboro, Mass. EAGLES 35, PATRIOTS 28 Completed 14 of 24 passes for 120 yards and two TDs in the high-point game of the Birds’ season, one that wasn’t sealed until recently released Riley Cooper made two key plays.
December 13, 2015 | Philadelphia EAGLES 23, BILLS 20 Completed 23 of 38 passes for 247 yards, a TD and an INT to help keep team’s playoff chances alive.
December 20, 2015 | Philadelphia CARDINALS 40, EAGLES 17 Completed 28 of 41 passes for 361 yards, two TDs and two INTs as team fell to 6-8 on the season.
December 26, 2015 | Philadelphia REDSKINS 38, EAGLES 24 Completed 37 of 56 passes for a season-high 380 yards and a TD as team fell to 6-9 and was eliminated from playoff contention.
January 3, 2016 | East Rutherford, N.J. EAGLES 35, GIANTS 30 Completed 30 of 38 passes for 320 yards, two TDs and an INT. Note: Bradford’s best statistical game of the season came in the first half, when he completed 15 of 28 passes for 270 yards and three TDs at Washington on October 4, 2015 for a passer rating of 122.6. The Eagles lost that game, 23-20.