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 ESPN.com, 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 ESPN.com 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.