Bradford's eager embrace of trade shows this was right move for everyone
PHILADELPHIA--There were no signs of life Saturday afternoon, Sept. 3, at Sam Bradford's Haddonfield home. That was because, as a Minnesota Vikings web site video showed a few hours later, Bradford was already in the Vikings' practice facility, w...
PHILADELPHIA-There were no signs of life Saturday afternoon, Sept. 3, at Sam Bradford's Haddonfield home. That was because, as a Minnesota Vikings web site video showed a few hours later, Bradford was already in the Vikings' practice facility, wearing a team polo shirt and introducing himself to a new fanbase with a familiar businesslike, detached, calm demeanor.
"Sam's a professional" Howie Roseman told reporters in Philadelphia, when asked how the Eagles' starting quarterback reacted to hearing he had been traded Saturday morning, eight days before the start of the regular season, just a few days after talking about how settled and comfortable he was getting in Doug Pederson's offense.
That professionalism comes through on the video. In fact, it's kind of eerie. Like if you told an actor he was shooting a cereal commercial, and midway through the shoot you changed it to a car commercial, but the actor never broke character, switching smoothly to the new script. It's the same Bradford we've been watching all summer, only now the reassuring blandishments are being issued on behalf of the Vikings, instead of the Eagles.
"It feels good," Bradford told his questioner. "Just excited to be here right now, anxious to get into the playbook and start learning the offense, and really just getting around the guys and meeting my new teammates ... The past 12 hours, finding out I was going to be here, it's been a little crazy."
A little crazy? What starting QB has ever been traded eight days before the season starts?
You can't criticize Bradford for getting traded. But you are free to wonder, watching him switch gears like a Ferrari being driven on a familiar test track, if letting Bradford move on wasn't the best outcome for him and for the Eagles, from the moment the team traded up to draft North Dakota State's Carson Wentz last spring.
Bradford was asked about Pat Shurmur, his offensive coordinator with the Rams and the Eagles, who is tight ends coach in Minnesota. Minnesota reports credit Shurmur with advocating strongly for Bradford after starter Teddy Bridgewater suffered a devastating knee injury in practice last week. (Yes, Shurmur is just the tight ends coach, but league scuttlebutt holds that Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner might retire after this season and that Shurmur was hired to transition into that job.)
"Me and 'Shurm' have a great relationship," Bradford said. "We've spent a lot of time together. I think he knows me really well - as a player, as a quarterback, what I like, things we've done in the past. I'm real excited to get to work with him and see him again."
Adrian Peterson was "someone that I really looked up to" at Oklahoma, Bradford said.
Bradford said he was "really just excited. I can't wait to get in there and just get after it."
Watch: If there was anything to be disappointed about, in having left the Eagles so abruptly, we didn't get a whiff of it.
Once Bradford realized the Eagles weren't going to trade him back in the spring-no one was offering a first-round draft pick, plus a fourth that could become a third or even a second, depending on the Vikings' fortunes-Bradford's professionalism allowed him to navigate the tricky waters of training camp alongside Wentz with nary a ripple. After the first preseason game, he even laughed and joked, standing aside as a stream of reporters exited the Linc interview room right before the start of his press conference; he knew he was not the QB they wanted to talk to that night, and he wasn't offended.
But we still don't know how all this would have gone, had Bradford been quarterbacking a struggling Eagles team several weeks into the season, the crowd chanting for Wentz, management committed to playing Bradford if for no other reason than it desperately needed to recoup something for him at the end of the year, to help build around Wentz.
We're going to be spared that now. Fans should be relieved. It's clear Bradford is.