Sam Bradford's Agent: Returning to Team Was Next-best Option

Sam Bradford wanted to be the long-term quarterback in Philadelphia.

When he realized that wasn't going to be likely after the team moved up to the No. 2 pick to draft Carson Wentz, he wanted to force his way out of town and give himself a chance to be the long-term quarterback in another city.

When that didn't work out, Bradford tucked his tail between his legs and showed up at work Monday morning at the NovaCare Complex, thus ending a brief two-week "holdout" during the voluntary portion of the Eagles' offseason program.

Bradford hasn't spoken publicly since returning to work, aside from a manufactured statement released through his agency (see story), but that didn't stop his powerful agent, Tom Condon, from talking about the situation on The Rich Eisen Show on AT&T's Audience Channel.

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"They made a business decision and we made one too," Condon said. "We thought we had a chance to go to a really good football team and be there for a long time. And that opportunity was there and the attempt was made.

"It was just that when the Broncos contacted the Eagles and talked about the trade, they couldn't agree on the price, so they drafted somebody in the first round. So at that point, our options are pretty limited. So our next-best option is to go back and prepare for the season."

The next-best option, as Condon called it, was really the only option Bradford had left (see story). The agent said all that's left for his client to do is play well in 2016 to either keep Wentz off the field in 2017 or prove his value to another team.

Condon has been vocal in the press throughout this process, but this is the first known time he's spoken with the media following Bradford's return to work. This time, as he has in the past, Condon again said that the competition between Bradford and Wentz isn't a true competition because the assets the Eagles gave up to acquire Wentz clearly indicate that he's eventually going to be the starter.

Condon also said he reached out to Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman in advance of Bradford's return to get a "temperature of the coaches and the team." Roseman told him the team was ready to welcome Bradford "with open arms," which has been a mantra Roseman and head coach Doug Pederson have repeated publicly as well.

While Bradford's stay away from the team was brief, it certainly didn't endear him to Eagles fans, who - in large part - viewed his trade request as weakness.

"If you're the nicest guy in the world and you play horribly, the fans hate you," Condon said. "And if you play great and you're fantastic on the field, they love you. So, it's all a matter of performance."

Most of that is largely true. If Bradford puts together a Pro Bowl-caliber season for the Eagles in 2016, he can silence booing fans and the large continent of his critics, who saw this saga as the quarterback backing down from competition.

Still, there might not be much Bradford can do to preemptively stop the boos early on. They're coming.

"He's a tough guy," Condon said. "And the players in the locker room understand what's going on, as do the coaches. That's what he's really worried about. As I said, it is all settled on the field. He either plays really well or he doesn't. And if he does, as I expect him to, all's forgotten."

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