I am an Eagles fan. I am originally from South Jersey. I bleed green just as much as the next fan. What I am not? Unrealistic. I, for the first time in my life, was completely sucked into the pre-season hype of the Sam Bradford led Philadelphia Eagles. I had no idea how they were going to lose a game this past season. This pre-season, I was what I hate about most fans. Completely unrealistic. I thought no matter what they did, they were going to be the best team in the NFL. I truly believed it.
Sam Bradford, finally healthy. DeMarco Murray, coming off one of the best seasons ever for a running back. Jordan Matthews, coming off a promising rookie season. Nelson Agholor, the first round pick that was compared to Reggie Wayne all draft season. The defense, supposed to be much improved led by Malcolm Jenkins and Fletcher Cox. I can go on and on, but I’m choosing not to because it only infuriates me.
This may have been the most disappointing season that I can recall. In my defense, I’m only 26 years old. I can’t even imagine what the rest of my family has had to deal with before my time.
In a nutshell, what this season showed me is that the Eagles need so much more than Sam Bradford to be a competitive football team. Now, trying to be fair to the organization, most of the personnel issues they have is mainly due to the previous head coach. However, I do realize it’s the organization’s fault for giving that coach all of the power over the personnel.
Bleacher Report has recently reported that most GMs in the league believe that the Eagles will re-sign Sam Bradford and that Bradford may be limited to only a 1-year deal in free agency. Now, this should give the Eagles some leverage in negotiations in getting a team friendly contract and not the $20M+ that was originally reported that Bradford wanted. However, should the Eagles really want to settle for Sam Bradford? I mean, he’s an OK quarterback. All of the Eagle fans on Twitter are so infatuated by Bradford’s last seven games on the season. He threw ten touchdowns in that span. Ten. The Eagles went 4-3 in that same span. I’d like a little more out of my franchise quarterback.
I understand that the Eagles have more play makers for Bradford to work with than the St. Louis Rams provided him. But, Bradford has never thrown for over 4,000 yards in a season. His career high is 21 touchdown passes. In this new pass heavy NFL, those numbers are below average at best. And in this era of QB wins, Bradford is 12 games under .500.
Now, I’m not promising that any of the quarterbacks available in this year’s draft are a lock to be better than Bradford. But, the upside of the unknown is much more intriguing than Sam Bradford. While I understand that the floor is lower, the ceiling is so much higher and the Eagles need to hit a home run with the next quarterback they choose to bring in. They need a quarterback that can elevate the play of the players around him. Sorry, but that guy just is not Sam Bradford.
For the record, I’m not even saying I think they need to draft a quarterback in the first round in this upcoming draft. I realize that the Eagles have more holes than more people are willing to admit. If they decide to bring in Chase Daniel and Nick Foles and rebuild the offensive line during the draft and free agency and look for a quarterback early in the 2017 draft, I am fully on board with that.
Newsflash: the Eagles, no matter what they do this off-season, are not going to be a contender for a Super Bowl next season.