FIERRO: Bradford's demand may help Eagles in long run
- Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford has reportedly demanded to be traded.
- The Eagles are expected to draft a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick.
- If Bradford is traded, recently acquired backup Chase Daniel may be thrust into the starting role.
Oddly, Monday's new development that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford reportedly has demanded to be traded (according to a tweet from ESPN reporter Adam Schefter) could actually help the team with its long-term offensive needs as it heads toward Thursday's NFL Draft.
If the Eagles wind up accommodating him, they might have a better chance of landing their right tackle of the future in this year's draft.
On the other hand, trading Bradford, particularly before the salary cap hit would be cut in half beginning June 1, is probably not an option.
More on that as it develops.
For now, the focus is on the team's overall offensive roster strength by roster position and how it can help itself by the end of the weekend.
Quarterbacks: Bradford reportedly also choosing not to participate in the Eagles' offseason program will no doubt accelerate the learning curve of Carson Wentz, the North Dakota State product they're expected to select with the No. 2 pick — after Jared Goff of California is taken, as many expect, by the Los Angeles Rams at No. 1.
And if the Eagles do find a way to trade Bradford before the season starts, it will mean they might have to throw Wentz into the fire before he's ready.
But the acquisition of veteran backup Chase Daniel, who knows coach Doug Pederson's offense inside and out, helps with that and should give the Eagles a chance to be competitive even without Bradford in the picture.
How all this might affect their draft plan is intriguing.
If they anticipate not having Bradford for 2016, it wouldn't be surprising if the Eagles drafted another quarterback on the final day. In fact, that would be a likely scenario.
The problem is that Bradford might have jumped off too quickly for them to be able to project whether a trade is viable in time for the draft.
If, say, they wait until June to deal Bradford because the salary cap hit would be cut in half by then, it is technically possible for him to be included for a player who gets drafted by another team this week.
That is unlikely, however. Any deal that doesn't get done by the start of this year's draft will almost certainly involve compensation coming in the 2017 draft or beyond.
Running backs:DeMarco Murray and his giant contract are gone. Super-talented Ryan Mathews remains. However, his injury history suggests he cannot be counted on to be a featured back without at least a very good Plan B backing him up.
Could that be Kenjon Barner or Kevin Monangai or Lafayette's Ross Scheuerman? Possibly.
But look for the Eagles to also draft a running back, perhaps as high as the third round.
Possibilities there: Indiana's Jordan Howard, Alabama's Kenyan Drake, UCLA's Paul Perkins.
Receivers: It sure would help if a sure-handed speed burner would emerge, because the Eagles don't figure to spend more major resources on this spot after expending high draft picks on Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff over the last two seasons.
Could they take a flier on a flyer in the later rounds? Possibly.
The more prudent bet would be for them to pursue possible undrafted free agents while trying to coach Agholor up to the first-round grade they had him at a year ago.
Post-draft possibilities could include Auburn's Ricardo Louis and Washington State's Dom Williams.
They also have Trey Burton, who's entering his third year and will be tried out at fullback, too. The Eagles hadn't carried a fullback for the previous three seasons, but Pederson plans to resurrect the position for his offense, even if only for a handful of snaps per game.
Offensive line: The biggest question mark is left tackle Jason Peters, who last season was often injured and was not very effective when he wasn't.
Had the Eagles not traded up to pursue Wentz, they probably would have addressed this position in the first round. Now they won't be able to do it until at least the 79th pick. If they see good value there, it would not be surprising for them to grab one.
Keeping in mind that young right tackle Lane Johnson is their left tackle of the future, their real quest here is for a right tackle.
They do have some enviable depth now, though, in Andrew Gardner, Malcolm Bunche, Dennis Kelly and newcomer Stefen Wisniewski, who will challenge left guard Allen Barbre or maybe even centerJason Kelce for a starting spot.
Among the top players who could still be on the board when they pick at No. 79 are Stanford's Kyle Murphy, UCLA's Caleb Benenoch, Western Michigan's Willie Beavers and Nebraska's Alex Lewis.
Obviously, the two most important positions — quarterback and left tackle — suddenly are in doubt. And if Peters can't play this year, that could be a problem that won't be addressed for awhile.
But with the right choices in the NFL Draft and possibly with undrafted free agents, the Eagles will at least have a chance to have a good, ball-control offense, which should help the defense a lot more than it's been used to the last three seasons under former coach Chip Kelly.