March 02, 2016
The Eagles shook the money tree on Tuesday afternoon and $26 million in guaranteed money fell on the ground for quarterback Sam Bradford. If things go the right way, there will be roughly another $10 million to be scooped up in the two-year deal.
Amazingly, Bradford, who has never won more than seven games in a single season and is 25-37-1 over five NFL seasons, will have earned over $100 million in his career by the end of the deal.
That’s a lot of green – and that is the problem.
When people see Sam Bradford, they don’t see Eagles green, they see money green. It is just very difficult to consider Bradford’s career without considering the amount of money he has pocketed to land somewhere in the middle of the pack when compared to his peers.
On a very objective basis, the Eagles made a solid decision to sign Bradford to a deal that covers them short term, and if it works out, even long term. It is only logical that first-year coach Doug Pederson wants the best opportunity to win in his first year and this should be an indication that he has a good deal of input into personnel decisions.
So, for those who were worried that Howie Roseman’s return to the front office was going to be a license to do as he pleases, this should calm some of those concerns. At least, on the surface it appears the coach has the ear of the GM. He might not be able to pull the GM by the ears to make the right decisions, but his voice is being heard.
With Bradford and a weak NFL East, the Eagles should go into the season with some hope of making the playoffs. It is hard to imagine that a fan base would be happier going into the season with a lesser quarterback and a zero chance at a playoff game.
The real problem here is that football fans are also regular-day employees, and it hurts to see a middle manager being paid over $100 million for a mediocre career.
Well, it’s the NFL and Bradford is a veteran quarterback. Try to forget the green money, and cheer for the green jersey.
It's difficult to find anything positive out of a domestic violence case, but at least we can look at the case of the Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman and feel relieved that he did not challenge the 30-game suspension levied by new commissioner Rob Manfred.
There were no charges filed against Chapman, then with the Cincinnati Reds, as the local Florida police department decided that conflicting accounts of the events and insufficient evidence made a conviction unlikely.
But a conviction is no longer required for the league to act, and act it did.
Chapman, who fired eight shots in his garage after allegedly choking and pushing his girlfriend into a wall, decided that it was his responsibility to accept the ruling when he commented:
“Today, I accepted a 30-game suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my actions on October 30, 2015. I want to be clear; I did not in any way harm my girlfriend that evening. However, I should have exercised better judgment with respect to certain actions, and for that I am sorry. The decision to accept a suspension, as opposed to appealing one, was made after careful consideration. I made this decision in an effort to minimize the distractions that an appeal would cause the Yankees, my new teammates and most importantly, my family.
"I have learned from this matter, and I look forward to being part of the Yankees’ quest for a 28th World Series title. Out of respect for my teammates and my family, I will have no further comment."
It’s still a while away, but the first of what could be three great games with huge playoff ramifications will take place Saturday night, March 19 when the Pittsburgh Penguins come to Philadelphia.
The Penguins, who hold a 3-point advantage over the Flyers for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, have a relatively difficult schedule down the stretch, including two games each against the conference-leading Capitals and the runner-up Rangers.
Things could get REALLY interesting in the season's final days when the Flyers travel to Pittsburgh on April 3 and then host the Penguins six days later.
For the NHL, things just don’t get much better than the Flyers and Penguins in late-season grudge matches.
And, in what could be a real twist, fans should remember that the Flyers game in Brooklyn against the Islanders this season was postponed by a snowstorm and rescheduled for April 10 – the day after the Flyers' season was set to end.
So the playoff hopes could go down to the wire – and then some.