Sam Bradford wants a divorce; maybe he should offer an annulment

AP

It’s now clear that quarterback Sam Bradford wants out of Philadelphia. It’s even more clear that Bradford and agent Tom Condon have opted for a T.O. Lite approach, attempting to talk the player’s way out of town without the shirtless driveway situps or the “next question” front-lawn press conference. (Yet.)

But at a time when Bradford is looking for a divorce, the more appropriate approach could be to offer an annulment. With an $11 million signing bonus given to Bradford (half of which already has been paid), maybe Bradford should offer to pay it all back in order to facilitate a trade.

Really, why should the Eagles eat $11 million simply because Bradford doesn’t want to play for a team that isn’t willing to regard him as “the guy”?

If Bradford doesn’t want to pay the money back, then he should be required to find a team that will take on his remaining contract and refund the bonus money. If there’s a team that is willing to regard Bradford as “the guy,” that team should be happy to pick up not $24 million over the next two years but the full $35 million.

There’s another potential solution, one for which it may simply be too late. Bradford can engage in a frank, candid assessment of his NFL career to date (which has generated fewer than 15,000 passing yards in six seasons) and fully commit himself to becoming “the guy” by playing so well that the next guy can’t get onto the field — in 2016, 2017, or ever.

Even if the Eagles eventually feel compelled to play inevitable No. 2 pick Carson Wentz in order to justify trading up for him, Bradford’s performance will prompt another team to truly embrace him as “the guy.”

Consider how other quarterbacks in similar situations have handled such circumstances. Did Kurt Warner, who signed with the Cardinals in 2005, try to talk his way out of Arizona when the Cardinals made Matt Leinart a top-10 pick in 2006? Or did Warner simply bust his ass, earn his playing time, ultimately win the job, and take the franchise to its first ever Super Bowl?

Bradford should be embracing the Kurt Warner playbook at this point. The 2010 No. 1 overall selection simply hasn’t accomplished enough to justify a power play, and his effort to force Philly’s hand will serve only to make his next team wonder whether, at some point, Bradford will pull a similar maneuver there.

Maybe it’s not too late for Bradford. Maybe, with the Eagles refusing to entertain a trade demand, Bradford will realize that his best course of action is to worry about the things he can control, cash his checks, and marvel at the amount of money he has earned in the NFL despite not being in the top half of all current NFL signal-callers.

If you disagree with that, here are 16 quarterbacks who are clearly and objectively better than Bradford, in no particular order: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Matt Ryan, and Jay Cutler.

That list of 16 omits various young quarterbacks whom many teams already may prefer to Bradford: Ryan Tannehill, Blake Bortles, Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, Kirk Cousins, and Derek Carr.

Then there’s Alex Smith, who arguably deserves one of the spots in the top 16. If the league did a poll of all 32 teams, how many would choose Smith over Bradford?

Frankly, Bradford should be counting blessings (and his money) instead of airing his grievances. With $78 million earned in six years and another $22 million fully guaranteed under his two-year contract, Bradford should turn that frown upside down.

And maybe put on a ski mask.

53 responses to “Sam Bradford wants a divorce; maybe he should offer an annulment

  1. Wow, PFT, listing all those QBs that are better than Bradford. That’s what you call cutting to the chase.

  2. The amazing thing is Tom Condon is playing along and saying all the wrong things as well. Perhaps he can be the third agent to fire Johnny Football.

  3. Wow 100 million dollars for not being that great of a quarterback. Stop whining and just play ball. Maybe this is all just charade and the eagles end up taking Tunsil. Lord knows Bradford needs him.

  4. Eagles up there with Miami for out thinking the rest of the league. Who else lined up for Suh? Who else was hoping Bradford would be a FA? Losing organizations bet against themselves.

  5. another analogy is GB with favre-rodgers. if I am not mistaken, favre continued to play for 3-4 yrs in GB while Rodgers sat.

    also I don’t think eagles care too much about the money. I think their bigger concern is who will QB the team, and make the team competitive, in 2016.

    yes the consensus is Bradford has some kinda balls whining and wanting a no-compete situation given he hasn’t done anything in the nfl yet except take lotsa money.

  6. Totally agree on this one. The last of the big money #1 picks under the old CBA should count his blessings and keep cashing his checks. Granted that all of the injuries aren’t necessarily his fault, his earnings have far oupaced production to this point. It’s a little ridiculous to be upset at the prospect of $100 million in career earnings if the current contract is honored, especially within the context of mediocre results.

  7. Maybe he’s not taking a page from the Kurt Warner playbook because he has neither the skill nor knowledge of football that Kurt Warner had

  8. Well put…
    List of the “various young QBs” contains all QBS that are already preferred over Bradford. You can only play the “potential” card for so long Sam.

  9. The Eagles should let Bradford’s agent negotiate a new deal that is acceptable to the Eagles, Broncos and Bradford. The Eagles get some picks and most of their money back and don’t have to deal with a QB that doesn’t want to be there.

  10. Beavertonsteve is right.

    Eagles will not allow an anullment. They refused permission for Condon to seek trade partners.

    Eagles will not allow a divorce. They are asking too much in trade scenario.

  11. 200% agree, thus far in his nfl career he has had to ear nothing and been given everything. He should have took major notes to the way Mark Sanchez conducted himself last year…

  12. This whole blow-up is about how Bradford see’s himself as a QB, not yet how teams see him as a QB. When no team comes forward to accept him at his current contract, it’ll then be about how other teams view him as a QB.

  13. JaMarcus Russell is not the only reason for the rookie wage scale. Sam Bradford was traded for Nick Foles. He has a very lucrative 2 year deal that if he plays out he will only be 30 at the end of and could still (STILL!) have another big payday before he retires. Be the consummate pro, show up, show up on time, show up on time ready to work and prepared to be the man. You don’t want to be in Philly? Give the money back and the Eagles can find a veteran to tutor the next QB for a lot less.

  14. The Kurt Warner example is excellent. But it is one among countless examples.

    Don Meredith / Roger Staubach
    Daryle Lamonica / Ken Stabler
    John Harris / Ron Jaworski
    Pat Haden / Vince Ferragamo
    Montana / Young
    Bret Favre / Mark Brunell
    Brett Favre / Aaron Rodgers

    Note that all of the QBs on the left are more special than Bradford, AND their successors. Shouldn’t Bradford receive inspiration from a list like this?

  15. This kind of behavior has Sam BADford on the fast track to becoming the most disliked QB in the NFL now that Johnny Football is out of the league.

  16. In other news: Energizer and Duracell have sent reps to the greater Philadelphia area with the anticipation of increased sales in the late summer months continuing through Christmas.

  17. Richest qb to do absolutely nothing,? How many of those 16+ qb made 100 million in thier career and not win a playoff or super bowl?

  18. Hard to believe that only one quarterback drafted in 2010 has led his team to the playoffs. And it ain’t Bradford.

  19. Eagles have the leverage. Bradford needs to prove he can earn it. His contract certainly didn’t scream FRANCHISE QB HERE and he and Condon should realize or acknowledge it.

    No sympathy for this guy whos whining after never earning what hes made already. LOL!

    Although as Cowboys fan…I was looking forward to him QBing the Eagles LOL!

  20. Scary to think he could FINALLY play well over the course of 32 games, turn 30 and get another 100 million dollars.

    It could happen, if he would just lace them up and get to work.

    Again, scary…

  21. Bradford wants his money and to call the shots……kinda like a certain QB down in N.O., albeit the QB there is better but then what good is a good QB if it is at the expense of the “team.”

  22. Not to mention Cousins, Osweiller, and Taylor. So that’s 27.

    Browns wouldn’t take him for 7 mil. = 28

    That leaves:

    Broncos
    Jets
    49’rs
    Eagles.

    Who WERE the Eagles bidding against in the first place?

  23. If Bradford plays out his current deal he would have made $100 million over 8 seasons or an average of $12.5 million per season. He came into the league making top 10 QB money, has never done anything at all to justify his contract, then when that rookie contract was up received a 2 year deal worth $18 million per year and now has the nerve to pout because the Eagles are trying to draft a QB. A little self awareness goes a long way. He hasn’t even his salary much less the right to be mad because his team may be bringing in his replacement.

  24. Bradford and his agent seem to be living in an alternate reality where he stayed healthy and took the league by storm. The rest of us look at him and see a guy who is too frequently injured and too average to build a team around. He can be your starter but you’ll always be looking for the long-term solution and wanting to make sure there’s a quality backup for when he inevitably gets hurt.

  25. The fatal flaw in the Warner analogy is that even Sam Bradford knows Sam Bradford doesn’t belong in the same sentence with Kurt Warner.

  26. I don’t get the whole “won’t commit to him as the guy” comments. He got a 2 year deal, of course they weren’t committed to him being the guy long term. If they were, they would of offered him a long term contract, they didn’t, they offered him a 2 year deal.

    If there was a better deal out there on another team, he’d of taken it.

  27. Why should Glass Bradford give money back to the Eagles? No one made them offer him that contract.
    It is worth mentioning Jamarcus Russell, widely considered the worst draft pick of all time, set the Raiders back 5 years. Bradford has left the two teams he’s played for, looking for a QB in the same draft at #1 & #2. Not even Russell could accomplish that.

  28. he is afraid of a division 2 qb?.get him outta here..bleeding green nation

  29. jturney2014 says:
    Apr 27, 2016 4:27 PM

    Beavertonsteve is right.

    Eagles will not allow an anullment. They refused permission for Condon to seek trade partners

    ——————————————

    And just why on earth WOULD the Eagles allow Condon to seek his own trade for Bradford?

  30. Wouldn’t an annulment be more like giving back the money for his release? The reason the eagles can trade him is because he is under contract. Without the bonus money there wouldn’t be a contract. Give back the money for outright release.

  31. What Florio said.

    The ski mask part.

    Things could be alot worse Sam.

    Close mouth, remember you are part of an NFL Team, and count those blessings..ect, ect

  32. cas5875 says:
    Apr 27, 2016 4:31 PM
    200% agree, thus far in his nfl career he has had to ear nothing and been given everything. He should have took major notes to the way Mark Sanchez conducted himself last year…
    _______________________________________
    Preach!

  33. Dude is set for life for being good in college in an offense that is designed to basically inflate qb numbers. Just take the money an shut up.

  34. Bradford: If I knew I would have to compete for my job, I wouldn’t have signed.

    Eagles: If we knew what a loser you were, we wouldn’t have signed you.

  35. ttommytom says:
    Apr 27, 2016 5:02 PM
    Not to mention Cousins, Osweiller, and Taylor. So that’s 27.

    Browns wouldn’t take him for 7 mil. = 28

    That leaves:

    Broncos
    Jets
    49’rs
    Eagles.

    Who WERE the Eagles bidding against in the first place?

    ————————

    Good question. It was reported that he only signed with the Eagles after he found that there really wasn’t a market for his services which made the $18 mill/yr contract pretty amazing.

  36. The best comparison of a true pro player taking this exact same situation is Brees and Rivers. Brees was with SD with two years left on his contract, Flutie was still the veteran back up and Rivers was drafted high in the 1st round. Brees played his ass off the first year and SD got rid of Flutie, then Brees had another strong year but hurt his shoulder. But even with the injury being a question mark he played well enough to get a good FA contract from New Orleans . . . the rest is history and it looks like Drew might have a shot at the HOF. But then again Brees had some church bell size balls, while Bradford’s are about the same size as a female chipmunk.

    By the way, no that he has cried like a 3 year old about having competition and he and his agent have acted like little cry baby bitches, what fan base and locker room does this wussy expect to be expected by?

  37. Bradford got signed for two years and paid well with a good signing bonus. This is a business and he needs to shut up and fulfill his contract. It’s not any of his business what the owners have in mind for the future.

  38. I would let him ride the pine…wait till a few qb’s go down mid season, and deal him then…matter of fact…stay home sam…we’ll call ya.

  39. chrisk61 says:
    Apr 27, 2016 4:15 PM
    another analogy is GB with favre-rodgers. if I am not mistaken, favre continued to play for 3-4 yrs in GB while Rodgers sat.

    also I don’t think eagles care too much about the money. I think their bigger concern is who will QB the team, and make the team competitive, in 2016.

    yes the consensus is Bradford has some kinda balls whining and wanting a no-compete situation given he hasn’t done anything in the nfl yet except take lotsa money.

    ———————————————————-

    That’s a good analogy. Because in the end with both guys shutting up and playing their part it worked out really well for both of them in the end. I also think at the beginning Farve developed as a backup for a while behind someone (can’t remember who) and that too emerged as a win/win for both.

    I think Bradford still sees him self as the ‘great potential guy that will surely be great’ prospect he was told he was coming out of college (and maybe people around him are giving that incorrect message). He might feel (and there is an argument) that he has yet to be put into a situation to realize all that potential. But what he is missing is that after being in the league this long, you are not a prospect no matter what, and regardless of why your potential has not been realized the only fact that matters is that it hasn’t. If it wasn’t his fault that’s certainly unfair but it’s still how the game works. So he needs to stop thinking of himself as a great QB that hasn’t been allowed to prove it and instead see himself as a guy that has yet to ever prove himself. The final irony is he has before him a terrific opportunity right there in front of him to prove himself and get paid big bucks while he does. And if he does the world will open for him. He will either be ‘the guy’ in Philly or if they move to the (presumably) hot young kid he then has what he needs to become ‘the guy’ somewhere else. And also, even if he didn’t start because the high pick prospect looks terrific out the gate and they decide to go that route, that rookie could wind up with a series of injuries that prevent him from becoming ‘the guy’ that they were trying to make him. I believe Bradford has seen that happen to a top prospect before hasn’t he? If it does happen they will turn back to him and he has the great opportunity he wanted that way.

    The moral of all that comes down to the only smart thing for Bradford is to 1) shut up, 2) put a big smile on his face ( extra points for actually being happy inside), 3) play good football every time he is asked to 4) even when not playing football, do all he can to help the team. This may include helping his replacement succeed at being his replacement.

  40. “Bradford can …fully commit himself to becoming “the guy” by playing so well that the next guy can’t get onto the field — in 2016, 2017, or ever.”

    You mean that doing your job well is probably the best way to keep it?

    *Shocked face*

  41. Seems to me Bradford was offered a long term deal by the Eagles and turned it down. Guess he opted to sign short term hoping for a better deal down the road. Now he has the chance.
    The old adage: “Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.”
    Can’t wait to see him whine when his attitude brings out the boo-birds opening day.
    Philly “loves” a whiner.
    “For who, for what” still resonates.

  42. Like everyone on here blasting him about taking that contract , wouldn’t have done the same thing. The rookie contract was what the rookie contracts were at that time. Im not saying he is the franchise saving QB like he was being paid , but anyone and everyone would have taken the money. Blame the teams that made the deals.

  43. Almost 80 mil in contracts for a QB whose best year was maybe average at best and he’s complaining…

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