September 03, 2016
A few hours after shipping his starting quarterback out of town just eight days before the opener, Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said that the dialogue between the Eagles and Vikings over the past few days wasn’t a normal trade negotiation.
How could it have been? The Eagles paid Sam Bradford a lot of money in the offseason, and as has been dissected and debated ad nauseam for the better part of four months, their plan was to start him on September 11th against the Cleveland Browns and compete for a division title. That plan has been scrapped.
“We have so much going on right now,” Roseman said. “It was hard to spend a lot of time on stuff. It wasn’t as much of a normal negotiation as you’ve had — a give and take, a back and forth — because we had our starting quarterback.”
Well, until they didn’t.
According to Roseman, Bradford wasn’t being shopped. He needed to be bowled over with an offer for his veteran starter, and after Teddy Bridgewater’s serious knee injury threw a major wrench into the Minnesota Vikings’ 2016 plans, general manager Rick Spielman was willing to pay the required bounty.
“We knew where we needed to be to consider this,” Roseman said when asked how long the process took. “I think that’s probably also a good question for the Vikings because we were pretty clear that for us to even consider something, it was going to have to be significant.”
For a player of Bradford’s caliber in Bradford's situation, the return probably goes beyond “significant.” A first-round pick and a conditional fourth (that could turn into a 3 or a 2 if Bradford magically guides Minnesota deep into the playoffs) is flat-out incredible considering Bradford is both an average to low-end starter and was an obvious stop-gap in Philly until Carson Wentz becomes ready to take over.
Roseman said that the Vikings had to up their original offer, as is the case in most negotiations. With Minnesota desperate to win in 2016, the Eagles somehow found themselves operating from a position of strength. The quarterback logjam had magically turned into quarterback depth.
“Because of our quarterback depth chart, we got some calls this week,” Roseman said.
The Eagles had planned to go into 2016 with Bradford at the controls, but sometimes you have to call an audible (which the Eagles also couldn't do on the field under Chip Kelly). Getting offered a 1 and 4 is apparently one of those times.
Sometimes situations arise that you simply can’t foresee. Just ask Howie Roseman, who was made an offer he couldn't refuse. As it turned out, a gruesome non-contact injury on a practice field in Eden Prairie, Minnesota changed the entire complexion of his team’s season.
“This was not our blueprint, this was not part of the plan,” Roseman said. “But as we sit, we have to flexible and we have to be able to take advantage of opportunities that give us an opportunity to get where we want to be.”
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann