Condon explains Bradford’s strategy

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Agent Tom Condon, who in recent weeks has become one of the most visible agents in the business, did another media tour on Wednesday. This one included an explanation of the failed effort to get quarterback Sam Bradford out of Philadelphia.

Via, Condon took responsibility for the situation and for the strategy during an appearance on Stephen A. Smiths SiriusXM radio show.

Condon explained that, after the Eagles traded up to No. 2 in the draft and made it clear that they’d be taking a quarterback with the pick, it was time for Bradford to counter Philly’s business decision with a business decision.

“Can we improve our situation?” Condon said. “The Denver Broncos certainly needed a quarterback at the time. Or it looked like they could need a quarterback at the time. They’ve got Mark Sanchez. Good guy, good player. But was there a chance that we could get there? And so Sam withdrew from the workouts and voiced his displeasure, and at that point the desired result occurred. The Denver Broncos engaged with Philadelphia.”

The Eagles asked for too much, and the talks went nowhere. Then, in the first round of the draft, the door slammed shut.

“When [the Broncos] couldn’t make a deal and then drafted the quarterback in the first round, at that point they are no longer interested in Sam,” Condon said. “And so our next best move is for Sam to go back to Philadelphia and learn the system, play like he’s capable, and I think play really well this year and potentially next year, and then be available for either trade or free agency.”

Although Phil Sheridan of says that Condon’s “explanation fits the timeline of events,” there’s one flaw in that assessment. Condon appeared in a podcast that posted on May 3, five days after the Broncos drafted Lynch, and Condon reiterated Branford’s position. Unless the interview was taped at least five days earlier, the decision of the Broncos to draft Paxton Lynch didn’t spark the kind of epiphany that Condon’s comments to Smith suggest.

That said, it’s clear that Condon specifically became the voice of Bradford’s effort to get out of Philadelphia in order to make it easier for Bradford to stay. Not once did Bradford say anything about wanting out; the comments always came from Condon.

Of course, it would have been even easier for Bradford to return to Philly if neither Condon nor Bradford said anything publicly. Taking the situation public was aimed at forcing the team’s hand.

That said, Bradford had other options. He could have held out into training camp or retired — but that would have cost him all or part of the $11 million signing bonus he earned in March. The fact that Condon and Bradford didn’t immediately end the holdout suggests that options were considered before Bradford returned.

Ultimately, neither Bradford nor Condon allowed ego to get in the way of making a good business decision. Way too many people chase a bad decision with another bad decision, digging in blindly in lieu of admitting that maybe they made a mistake.

49 responses to “Condon explains Bradford’s strategy

  1. Now he’s just got to show what he can do in the 4 or so games they give him, providing that his health is holding up. He just made his window narrower.

  2. As an Eagles fan and season ticket holder I say welcome back and lets go make the playoffs. It will drive me crazy if the fans boo Sam in the opener. It would be classic philly to boo out of spite despite the fact that he’s our starting qb and we need him to play well and with confidence. If you’re a true Eagles fan cheer him on opening day.

  3. “Way too many people chase a bad decision with another bad decision, digging in blindly in lieu of admitting that maybe they made a mistake.”

    Paging Ryan Fitzpatrick…

  4. The real reason Denver got to a SB was because Belivhick was doing trick onside kick plays against Philly up 14 and Bradford hitting a huge 3rd down pass. Otherwise manning comes to Foxborough = Loss

    Belivhick lost home field more than once but really Sam, that’s all your going to be remembered for.

    The guy that made a hundred million on tediculous contracts and beat the Patriots once

  5. He needs to be some place like Arizona, a team which has most of the pieces already in place…

  6. nothing about the “strategy” makes sense to me…he was under contract and it appears that all other teams think he is not worth the contract…greed is such a wonderful thing and Condon is not the master manipulator of it that he thinks he is…

  7. Bradford is a little better than Flacco and so should be paid better than the stiff from the Ravens…both would be backups on a decent team like the Colts or Bengals…

  8. Suspected from the start this was Condon’s idea. Sam needs a new agent.

    ““And so our next best move is for Sam to go back to Philadelphia and learn the system, play like he’s capable, and I think play really well this year and potentially next year, and then be available for either trade or free agency.”

    No Tom, that was your best move all along. You never had any leverage to begin with.

    Bradford’s rep and image took a beating, so you at least accomplished something.

  9. insightfulcomments says:
    May 12, 2016 5:03 AM
    because it was clear Elway was looking for an 18 mill/year qb

    Actually if the trade happened PHI would’ve eaten the guaranteed money.

    And DEN would have had to paid the base of 7mil for 2016 which ironically is what they wanted Kaepernick to take.

  10. Bl00dwerK says:
    May 12, 2016 4:06 AM

    He needs to be some place like Arizona, a team which has most of the pieces already in place…

    So Sam should go to Arizona, and be Palmer’s back-up, when the issue was that he wants to be the undisputed starter?

    Your statement makes no sense, you get no points, and we are all dumber for having read it.

  11. Condon did an awful job for his client, and should be embarrassed. Instead of smartly waiting for the Denver scenario to play out, he advised his client to jump at what amounted to a one year deal with the Eagles – albeit a profitable one.

    The most plausible explanation is that Condon didn’t believe in Sam either, so he just saw dollar signs and one last score for a guy on the downside of his career. Oh, and of course he gets his cut.

    Or maybe he’s just lost it, a relic of the days when being a “great businessman” in America was measured exclusively by how good a table you could get at the area power lunch spot.

    And instead of admitting he failed his client, he started a war between Sam and his employer to cover for his own shortcomings. Think about that. How crazy is that? How does this man have even one client at this stage?

  12. People are going to think what they think. At the end of the day, Sam Bradford is a multi-millionaire who will never have to do anything he really doesn’t want to do. He could retire today. That, in itself, rubs a lot of people the wrong way as we all get dressed and head off to our jobs. What really happened is the Eagles were being honest when they told Sam of their plans to draft a QB. At that time, they didn’t have Wentz rated as high. What changed was the same thing that changed for most teams. Wentz’ evaluation. He went from a mid rounder, to perhaps the number one player in the draft. That’s when the Eagles changed their plan. What also changed was the Eagles decision to trade away the near future for the distant future, and eliminating any true competition at QB. Now Sam was being asked to be the sacrificial lamb while the team groomed Wentz for the future. Sam, or any other intelligent person would try to get out of that situation. And the smart teams understand that. Sam is going to do his best to help get Wentz ready asap so he can get the heck out of there. He’ll be Wentz’ number one supporter.

  13. Tonebones,

    I disagree on a few points, as a Philly fan who lives in the area.

    1) No one resents Sam for being rich via a game. It’s not an issue like it was when TO pulled this. I’ll leave it to you to assess why that is. No need to get into it here.

    2) I believe the Eagles were ALWAYS going to take a QB. They wanted to start from scratch and wash away the awful taste of the Chip Kelly era. And Howie has both professional and personal reasons for wanting to do so.

    I agree that Sam is a sacrificial lamb. But that was baked into the contract – which was for more than he should have received since the Eagles were the only team bidding for his services.

    This is 100% about an agent who made a bad decision and wanted to create a distraction. He hurt his client and his employer by doing so. He should have his credentials revoked by the NFL.

  14. What is not mentioned is the after effect from this bone headed move. What happens when the Eagles lose a game where Bradford throws 2 INT’s and his QB rating is 59.6? The fans will be going out of their minds, the Eagles management will be doing disaster control and the coaching staff will be faced with the constant questioning of when Lynch is going to play. A real circus for a franchise that doesn’t need that in the middle of a season.

  15. Condon’s doing a good job for his client by lying through his teeth in order to take a bullet for his client.

    As mentioned, the timeline doesn’t make sense but they avoided any video clips of Bradford saying he doesn’t want to be in Philadelphia. Condon is falling on his sword admirably.

    The crowd that wants to give Bradford the benefit of the doubt is just fooling themselves. Chip offered Bradford a 4 year deal to be the long term starter last fall. Bradford turned it down because he thought he’d cash in with a $100 mill contract with a different team after the season.

    After the season he had, unfortunately for him, the Eagles 2 year deal was the best by far that he was able to get. In fact, one could say the Eagles bid against themselves in giving him that ridiculous amount of guaranteed money but at least they got the term right.

  16. A big part of business is understanding when you have leverage and when you don’t. This strategy was doomed from the start because Bradford had none. And the strategy made him look afraid of competition which undoubtedly turned off a bunch of teams who might have been interested in him as a free agent next year. When he finally is available and the phone isn’t ringing maybe Condon will explain all that to him then.

  17. Eagleswin…

    Yeah, but if Bradford had a competent agent he’d be the QB of the Denver Broncos today. That’s what’s being missed. And I guarantee Sam’s PR person and publicist don’t appreciate one bit the “good job” Condon is doing by the desperate press tour (which is all about salvaging his own ego and reputation). It’s had a negative impact on Sam’s brand.

    The Eagles weren’t going anywhere, why not wait for the Denver situation (remote though it seemed) to maybe take a more favorable turn FOR YOUR CLIENT?

    Oh, and that’s before we get to the genius move of blowing off $100M. That’s Condon, a true icon.

  18. “Not once did Bradford say anything about wanting out; the comments always came from Condon.”

    What I said about Josh Norman applies here: If this was entirely the agent’s doing, and the player had zero involvement, then the player is a fool and needs to get more personally involved in his employee’s work.

    I didn’t believe that Norman had no idea his agent had dug his heels in with the Panthers and said, “we will take $16M and not one cent less or we’re not signing anything.” And I don’t believe Bradford had no idea his agent was telling Philly, “We wanna start 32 games! If you won’t guarantee that we want out! WAAAAHHHH!”

    Bradford is thin-skinned and insecure and wants to be coddled with a guarantee that he will never lose the starting job. He apparently didn’t notice that only ONE team pursued him in free agency and that team only offered a 2-year contract, not the 5-7 year contracts true franchise QBs get.

    Enjoy your one year in Philly, Sam. See you next year in the Arena League.

  19. 49er33 says:
    Actually if the trade happened PHI would’ve eaten the guaranteed money.

    And DEN would have had to paid the base of 7mil for 2016 which ironically is what they wanted Kaepernick to take.

    that is why the trade would never happen because why would Philly eat the 11 million that it just gave Bradford for a signing bonus. and Take the Cap HIT ??? Idiotic!!
    if he gave back the 11 mil. and tore up the contract he just signed , it might have happened

  20. I plan on booing Bradford because he’s getting paid, and acted like a brat, and in a way detrimental to the team.

    It’s not like he’s a 3rd year player who is being underpaid. With the guarantee, he will have made over $100 million during his career. If he wants to earn more, then play hard and perform well in 2016. Then after the season, the eagles will want to unload him, and several teams will want him.

    Bradford will make a lot more money by playing well than by complaining, and threatening to stay away, which will harm his production.

    Look at it this way – say you have a specialized skill, and your employer wants you to train your replacement for a year. Say by doing that well, and by honing your knowledge of your craft, you will be able to get a better job.
    What do you do?
    Pout? Or work at improving your craft skill and getting a better job.

  21. If you want to win in the NFL you have to have a good QB. The Eagles now have three good QBs. But I think the real genius of Howie Roseman is that he has created a situation where it’s in Bradford’s (and the Eagles’) best interest to help Wentz’ get up to speed as quickly as possible so that Bradford can move on to another team. Bradford has the right temperament and intelligence to do just that. I don’t think there’s as big an issue as we all think. Plus with Bradford at QB this season, the future starts today. There doesn’t have to be a lost year for re-building. I think Howie hit this one out of the park.

  22. Oh well. Bradford and a host of other QB’s can be jealous of Sanchez all year.

  23. jssebastian2014 says:
    May 12, 2016 1:08 AM
    I honestly don’t know who’s dumber: Badford or his agent.

    This “dumb” agent and his “dumb” client got a real live NFL football team to give them $22m guaranteed over two years without the “dumb” player actually accomplishing anything on the field.

    We should all be so “dumb”.

  24. I will boo Bradford on opening day because we have had to read and listen to more discussion of this mediocre at best bum more than anyone should ever have to. Considering that this all occurred during a time when there is actual news to report on (the draft) it’s been even more annoying.

    We didn’t want Sammy Sleeves here in the first place and didn’t get anything out of him we couldn’t have gotten from Nick Foles while keeping a much better cap situation and a 2nd round draft pick.

    Also…dude has crazy eyes.

  25. I’m so glad that the Eagles front office continues to make terrible decision even after the Chiptator departed. $30M+ allocated to the QB position and all they have to show for it is Bradford, Daniels, and Wentz.

  26. Am I the only one who doesn’t have a problem with Bradford asking for a trade? I have no problem with Bradford wanting out if he could get out.

    1.) Philly made it clear that Sam wasn’t their future.

    2.) The Broncos had a need.

    3.) It’s business.

    4.) Teams do it all the time.

    NFL teams are continually cutting players at their whim for a plethora of reasons and the contracts they offer are more than often just ‘smoke and mirrors’.

    I could be wrong, but I believe there was a lot more to this story as to why Sam wanted out than ‘Joe Public’ is aware of.

    Consequently, the man asks for a trade (of which I believe the Eagles front office told him what they felt they needed to – to get him to sign) then turned around and gave him the old shim, sham, shimmy. After all this, I think Sam ‘ felt some kind of way’ and that’s why he wanted out.

  27. ………..the Eagles simply bought a hedge contract with Bradford in the event they couldn’t get a decent QB in the draft. Well, it worked out for them and now they have to pay the premium for that hedge contract. So be it. It was smart business move in the eyes of Lurie and Howie and quite frankly it’s not my money. As far as Bradford….play lights out and the Eagles will have suitors at the door for your services……..

  28. Condon explains strategy: “My goal was to try to make my overpaid, mediocre, and oft-injured QB look like a whiny cry baby because he has to compete for a job and ultimately be a placeholder for a rookie after signing a 2 year deal that is the definition of a ‘bridge contract’… Wait, you’re saying that’s bad? Sorry Sam, all my fault!”

  29. byHim,

    I had no problem letting him go, but he wanted to keep the $ and dictate where he was going to go. That’s where it became and issue.

    If he had handed back the money I think most Eagles fans wouldn’t have cared what happened to him. It’s not like he really gets anyone worked up one way or another, and he’s not very good at football.

  30. does anyone recall an instance where a free agent signed with a team in the off-season (ignoring the $11M signing bonus) and then requested a trade before any off season activities had even begun?

    that may be sam bradfords one singular accomplishment in the nfl (other than probably making the most cash for doing the least on the field).

  31. kevpft says:
    May 12, 2016 1:57 AM
    Everyone overreacts to everything these days.

    That’s quite an over-reaction…

    Self awareness people.

  32. “He could have held out into training camp or retired — but that would have cost him all or part of the $11 million signing bonus he earned in March.”

    I can see you are a lawyer and not an economist – right now he has the $11 million, but he hasn’t earned it yet. It’s not fully earned until the end of the contract… 😛

  33. The strategy if you want to call it that, was a bad one and it backfired. The agent needs to stop talking. Sam is now on the hot skillet and the pressure to perform has intensified thanks to a dumb move and his own lack of self awareness. In any event, if he gets hurt and is lost for much of the season, he will be let go from the team and no one else will pick him up. He has to stay healthy.

  34. byHim4u says:
    May 12, 2016 10:48 AM
    Am I the only one who doesn’t have a problem with Bradford asking for a trade? I have no problem with Bradford wanting out if he could get out.

    Under the circumstances it’s hard for any reasonable person to fault him for wanting to get himself into a better situation. The fault lies with the method. Some things belong behind closed doors

  35. As an Eagles fan and season ticket holder, I have to ask…who cares?

    You tried to play the public leverage game to get a better situation for your client and lost. Game over. Sit down. Shut up. Move on.

    As to fan reaction, if your client doesn’t want to get booed then have him play well.

  36. This was all Condon from the start.. Don’t be fooled Philly fans…

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