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Eagles aren't considering trading Bradford, source says

The five days that lapsed between the Eagles' trade for the No. 2 draft pick and Sam Bradford's reported request to be dealt would have been more than enough time for agent Tom Condon to gauge the market for trade partners.

The five days that lapsed between the Eagles' trade for the No. 2 draft pick and Sam Bradford's reported request to be dealt would have been more than enough time for agent Tom Condon to gauge the market for trade partners.

All he needs is one team. Otherwise, Bradford's hard-line stance, if true, would be ill-advised. But even if Condon has a suitor, he has to convince Howie Roseman that Bradford is prepared to hold out. It is the quarterback's only leverage, but it does have additional weight because of the importance of the position.

"Sam wants to play somewhere where he's going to stay for a long time if he plays well," Condon told SiriusXM Radio on Monday night.

Bradford did not report for voluntary workouts Monday, and Condon said in the radio interview that the quarterback would be skipping the sessions.

During an interview on the draft with Comcast SportsNet, Roseman did not deny Bradford's demands.

"I want to reiterate our support for Sam Bradford and go back to our statements last week - that Sam is our starting quarterback," Roseman said. "His agent and Sam know how we feel about him. These workouts are voluntary. We look forward to seeing Sam again in the near future."

Although Roseman didn't say it directly, the Eagles aren't considering trading Bradford, an NFL source close to the situation said. They haven't granted Condon permission to shop the 29-year-old quarterback.

But Condon, who engineered Saints quarterback Drew Brees' holdout four years ago, has certainly called around the NFL looking for teams that might have been interested had Bradford reached free agency last month. The Broncos, 49ers, New York Jets, and Browns have an obvious need at quarterback.

While new coach Doug Pederson would prefer for his starting quarterback to attend workouts over the next five weeks - especially while he installs a new offense - Bradford's presence isn't mandatory until the next three-day minicamp, June 7-9.

Mandatory in the context that he would be fined $76,580 if he opted to skip minicamp. The next important date on the calendar would be July 27 for the start of training camp. Brees held out because he wanted a long-term contract, but Condon had him in camp after a deal was reached in mid-July.

Roseman, who negotiated a two-year, $36 million contract for Bradford less than two months ago, said that he expected the quarterback to eventually show.

"I think you talk about Sam and what a pro he is," Roseman told CSN. "Him and his agent, we've worked well together for a long period of time. He loves to play the game."

A week ago, Bradford spoke of the importance of having his first full offseason to practice in three years. He missed significant time last spring as he recovered from his second torn anterior cruciate ligament, and that was often the reason given for his slow start.

Sitting out now does neither side any good.

"I think as a competitor, emotions come into play," Roseman said. "That's what makes these guys great players."

But you have to question Bradford's competitiveness if he refuses to play for a team that is drafting a quarterback to groom. Brett Favre, Donovan McNabb, and Brees faced similar scenarios, and for the most part their level of play remained consistent. In Brees' case, it improved dramatically.

"I don't think Brett Favre . . . [thought] about it one bit," Pederson said last month. "And honestly, if you're the starter, who cares? Who cares? Why are you looking over your shoulder if you're the starter?

"And that's the way Sam has to approach this, even with Chase [Daniel] there. And even if we go out and draft a quarterback this year, if you're the guy, you're the guy. You're looking forward and now behind. If you're constantly looking behind, that's a problem."

It wasn't as if the Eagles made a long-term investment in Bradford. This year's salary ($7 million) and a signing bonus ($11 million) are the only parts of the contract that are fully guaranteed. Roseman could trade him next offseason and a $4 million roster bonus would be offset.

The Eagles would incur an $11 million salary-cap hit if they were to give in to Bradford's trade demands. They would likely want a significant return - possibly, a first- or second-round pick - to take on the cost. The Broncos, Browns (thanks, in part, to the Eagles), and 49ers each have at least 10 draft picks.

But are those teams eager to give up commodities for Bradford? They would have to pay only his $7 million salary. Condon likely sniffed around the league to measure interest in case he took Bradford to free agency. But the Eagles appeared to be ready to use the franchise tag if necessary.

They believe they can win this season with Bradford. His second half last year was enough to suggest that he could lead the Eagles to a division title in a down NFC East. A playoff appearance would reduce the thump of giving the Browns a 2017 first-round pick, and increase Bradford's value if the Eagles wanted to deal him in the offseason.

Or it could persuade the team to bring him back for the second year and hold off on Carson Wentz. Bradford, ultimately, controlled his own destiny. Of course, forcing his way out of Philly and to Denver to play for the defending Super Bowl champions would be potentially more attractive.

The options for the Eagles would then be to promote Daniel as the starter/placeholder or roll the dice and start Wentz right away. Roseman and Pederson clearly don't want to rush the North Dakota State product. Daniel, who would be playing the Pederson part to Wentz's McNabb, has thrown all of 77 career NFL passes.

The Eagles' prospects for 2016 would have to be altered.

Roseman and Pederson underestimated Bradford's initial reaction, but there is time for him to come around and accept his lot. There are far worse fates. And, ultimately, the Eagles hold the cards. They have him under contract.

And they know his worth, or lack thereof. They otherwise wouldn't have traded up for a quarterback.