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July 27, 2016

Doug Pederson outlines Eagles’ 'expectation level’ in wake of Bradham arrest

Eagles NFL

The biggest news on the second day of Eagles training camp came from over 1,000 miles away, when projected starting linebacker Nigel Bradham was arrested in Miami for “assaulting a cabana boy over an umbrella” last week. 

Doug Pederson predictably wouldn’t comment on an ongoing investigation, but he did talk to Bradham on Tuesday.

“I did have a great conversation with him last night, laid out my expectations for him,” Pederson said. “Again those are private conversations, I’m not going to get into a bunch of detail on that. But he’s obviously humbled by it and understands the situation and magnitude.”

The Eagles released this statement, but a few reports have started to come in:

“We are aware of the recent incident involving Nigel Bradham in Miami. We have been in contact with Nigel and the proper authorities. Due to the ongoing legal process, we will have no further comment at this time.”

Bradham will report to training camp later today and practice tomorrow.

“I just felt like, don’t punish him from being here,” Pederson said. “And just let him practice, let him report, let him go through physicals, conditioning tests, all of that. And we’ll see what happens in a few days.”

Back in April, the Eagles raised some eyebrows when drafting Wendell Smallwood in the fifth round, a player with past off-field issues. This became a notable development largely because Smallwood was viewed as a player that Chip Kelly (who put a major emphasis on “culture”) might have taken off his draft board completely.

Wide receiver Nelson Agholor was accused of sexual assault earlier in the offseason, but he wasn’t charged. Pederson said that he had already laid out expectations for his players on and off the field.

“A lot of places are different, different cultures, different cities, different organizations,” Pederson said. “I just know this, that when they come to the Philadelphia Eagles, there’s an expectation level that needs to be upheld.”

When asked, Pederson didn’t anticipate Bradham getting released. Meanwhile, Agholor will talk to the media tomorrow for the first time since his off-field incident in June:

Long released early

The Eagles released linebacker Travis Long, who tore his ACL playing here the last two preseasons. Probably a better fit in a 3-4 scheme, Long might have been let go this early because the Eagles wanted to give him a chance to find another home.

“Travis has a situation here where giving him an opportunity now to catch on with another football team,” Pederson said. “Obviously sometimes it comes down to numbers and roster spots, and he’s 100 percent healthy and ready to go. It just felt like now is the time with this decision to allow him to catch on with another football team.”

In 2013, the Eagles signed Long as an undrafted free agent out of Washington State, where he recorded 9.5 sacks as a senior. With the team’s roster now at 89, Pederson said there’s a chance that the additional spot could go to a linebacker.

Linebacker depth

When asked, Pederson also confirmed Ian Rappaport’s report that the Eagles had interest in veteran receiver Anquan Boldin, who signed with the Detroit Lions.

“There was a little interest there,” Pederson said. “With Howie, and Joe [Douglas], and the guys, we’re continuing to always see about upgrading every position and he was on the list obviously.”

Pederson also mentioned that the Eagles could look to upgrade at linebacker, a bit of a mystery spot for the Eagles after the three projected starters (Bradham, Mychal Kendricks, and Jordan Hicks).

"I'll tell you, Joe Walker has done a great job for us this offseason and he's going to put himself in a good position to be a solid backup," Pederson said of the seventh-round pick from Oregon. "And then we got some young guys there, but at the same time, we're going to continue to monitor that position, watch and see, and keep upgrading if we can."


Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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