While Sam Bradford has returned to the Eagles after his recent trade demand, rumors are heating up regarding the potential implications that it is going to have in the team's lock room. Bradford only missed a few voluntary workouts, which are considered by many around the league to be involuntary, but he apparently rubbed many of the Eagles' players the wrong way. While no specific players are being named, there is word from around the league that players are beginning to view Bradford in a different way.
As Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice reports, Bradford is going to have to earn back the respect of his teammates.
"Nope. It's not fine. Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson may be welcoming Bradford back with 'open arms,' as they and now Condon have stated. However, according to a source, there are a number of players who view Bradford differently than they previously have."As Kempski notes, Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman, and Eagles head coach Doug Pederson have no ill feelings towards Bradford. After drafting North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz with the No. 2 overall pick in the recent NFL draft, Roseman and Pederson need Bradford to be the team's starting quarterback in 2016. While the Eagles also signed former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel to be the team's backup, he is viewed as more of a mentor for Wentz. In addition to already knowing Pederson's offensive system, he also understands his role as the backup quarterback. At only 28-years-old, and a former No. 1 overall pick, Bradford is still looking for a chance to prove his worth in the NFL. After signing a short-term contract with the Eagles in the beginning of March, Bradford viewed 2016 as a year where he could earn another long-term contract. Since Bradford was already named the Eagles' starting quarterback this season, he still has the same opportunity that he had before. The only difference is that Wentz is now in the fold.
While it is unlikely that Wentz will beat out Bradford in training camp, the fact that the Eagles took a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick speaks volumes for Bradford's future in Philadelphia. Even if Bradford has the best season of his career with the Eagles in 2016, it is still unlikely that he becomes a part of the long-term plans for the team. The Eagles gave up too much for Wentz, and it is only a matter of time before he is the starting quarterback.
Regardless of Bradford's feeling towards the Wentz situation, he is under contract and it is his duty to do what the Eagles ask. While Bradford does not have a long-term future with the Eagles, he still has the opportunity to showcase his talents this year to the rest of the NFL. If he has a great year, teams will be lining up at the Eagles' door for a trade. If he does not have a great year, he may struggle to find a starting job next year. Either way, it is in Bradford's best interest to be the perfect teammate this year and play to the best of his abilities.While certain anonymous players inside the Eagles' locker room may now view Bradford in a different light, Wentz believes that the two will have a smooth relationship, as reported by Yahoo! Sports.
"Personally, I don't think there will be a lot of tension. It is what it is. Honestly, like I've been saying all along, it's out of my control. People want to make it a big situation, but I think we'll have a really good working relationship. I think it will benefit the team, because we're going to compete."And those are the things that you expect your young quarterback to say. While Wentz likely wants Bradford out of Philadelphia as soon as possible, he is being the perfect teammate.
Regardless of how the players and fans feel about Bradford, he can change everyone's mind by playing well. If he leads the Eagles to the playoffs, no one will remember his trade request. If he starts off poorly and the Eagles, once again, miss the playoffs, the backlash from the fans and certain players could get worse.
As the Philadelphia Eagles' 2016 season approaches, rumors will continue to involve quarterback Sam Bradford and how the players feel about him in the locker room. If Bradford does not play well, expect more reports to surface involving unhappy teammates.
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