Does It Matter If Sam Bradford, Carson Wentz Get Along?

Burning the bridge is the easy part. If you make the proper preparations and you're lucky enough, you can just keep going and never look back. The problem is when you have to make a U-turn. That can be tricky.

A few weeks ago, Sam Bradford swore he wouldn't return to the Eagles and demanded a trade. Gasoline and fire were instantly introduced to Bradford's bridge to the Eagles. But earlier this week he realized he couldn't get very far from the NovaCare Complex, and now he's in the unenviable position of trying to piece together the relationships he recently torched. To hear Ron Jaworski tell it, that won't be so simple.

As part of the process, Bradford issued a statement. There's always a statement after things like this. Those statements are generally prepared by an agent or a PR subordinate and they are, almost invariably, hilarious, disingenuous and ineffective. Bradford's statement hit the sweet spot on that front.

In the statement, Bradford said he was "excited" to be back with the team from which he had so recently demanded emancipation. He said "the business side of football is sometimes a necessary consideration" - as is swallowing your pride, evidently. And, the best part, he claimed to be "committed to my teammates and the Eagles organization." That part is so good they ought to print it out and wallpaper the NovaCare Complex hallways with it just for laughs.

Bradford overestimated his trade value and leverage, but just because he returned to the Eagles doesn't mean he's suddenly good with everything that went down after initially making it quite clear that he was not at all good with how everything went down. And whatever you think about Bradford and his agent and how they handled the situation, they at least had a defensible point. To paraphrase what Tom Condon said in a recent interview, the moment the Eagles traded up and took Carson Wentz with the second overall pick, the clock started on Bradford. It's only a matter of time before he isn't the starter and Wentz is. That's how these things work. It's inevitable.

So Bradford is back and Wentz is in the mix and the clock is running. That's the current situation. The question now is what kind of dynamic that creates in the NovaCare Complex and the quarterback room. Some players handle those things better than others. Mark Sanchez recently said all the right things about welcoming Paxton Lynch to the Broncos and competing and being a good teammate. Of course, Sanchez just got traded to the defending Super Bowl champions, and while Lynch was a first-round pick, he wasn't the second overall player taken. Not quite analogous. In possibly the most memorable and uneasy NFL quarterback détente, Brett Favre famously said it wasn't his job to groom Aaron Rodgers or be his buddy after the Packers set up their succession plan. Of course, Favre was a Hall of Famer and one of the best at his position while Bradford is … not those things. Again, not analogous. But you get the point here.

It's possible Bradford - the man who is so "excited" to be back and who is "committed" to his teammates - will act like a professional and get along with Wentz and everything will be fine and smooth. It's also possible Bradford will go see a local juju man and inquire about a Wentz voodoo doll. Could go either way. At the very least, whatever relationship they have is off to a rough start.

Bradford isn't scheduled to talk to the media until Tuesday. He'll no doubt say everything is fine and maybe even throw in a few kind words about Wentz. Whether you believe that if/when you hear it is up to you. In his absence, we are left with Wentz, who addressed the media Friday.

The rookie said he hasn't talked to the incumbent competition yet. He hasn't reached out to Bradford, and Bradford hasn't reached out to him. No worries, Wentz said. He's aware that the palace intrigue with Bradford has become a serious topic of conversation in town, but Wentz didn't seem too concerned about it. Or, if he is, he didn't let on, which was precisely the right way to play it. When he was asked what kind of relationship, if any, he anticipates having with Bradford, Wentz said he thinks it "will be great" and "really competitive." He used that last word, or variations of it, quite a bit: compete, competitive, competition, etc. Somewhere, Bradford no doubt recoiled and hissed.

"Personally, I don't think there will be a lot of tension," Wentz continued. "People might make it out to be. But I think the coaches and everyone will be on the same page. And I think it will be a good working relationship."

One of them is handling the situation like a professional. The other guy talks on Tuesday. Ultimately, Wentz said, it's "out of my control." And so it is. And so it continues.

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