Chip Kelly spoke out last week, telling reporters the Eagles wouldn’t have traded for Sam Bradford if they didn’t intend to keep him for more than one season.
But without a new contract for the former No. 1 overall pick, the decision of whether Bradford stays or goes is not Chip Kelly’s, Jeffrey Lurie’s or anyone else in the Eagles’ organization.
As a possible free agent next season, the decision is Bradford’s.
“I’m not really worried about that right now,” Bradford told the media Wednesday, fighting off an onslaught of questionsregarding the quarterback’s future in Philly.”We’ve won two games in a row, things are awesome. I do like it here. Obviously it’s a lot different than anywhere I’ve ever been before but I like it.”
How is it different?
“There are a lot more people here who seem to like football a lot more,” he said.
Bradford seemed timid about complimenting the city of Philadelphia, and also was reluctant to really make it clear he intended to stay. And with good reason.
Though he as strived in recent games, the Eagles’ offense is not really tailored to Bradford’s skill sets. He’s a pocket quarterback who is very accurate, and could command a huge salary in a seller’s market during free agency next spring.
Other recent Eagles free agents, like Jeremy Maclin, havespoken out publicly saying they wanted to return. But Bradford was non-committal and really not interested in making his case for a new contract in Philly.
“That’s a couple months away,” he said when asked about testing free agency.”I’m really just worried about these next few weeks.”
The microscope of Philadelphia is different than St. Louis (where he was Rookie of the Year with the Rams) or Oklahoma (where he won the Heisman Trophy). And perhaps it’s true, he hasn’t thought about it and intends to return.
But with so many teams in need of a starting quarterback, Bradford could just be using Philly as the first step towards his second act.
Maybe a playoff run will convince him to stay. Or convince another team to open their wallet.