The Jets still haven't reached a deal to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick and the two sides haven't been able to make any progress to making a deal. So when Sam Bradford decides he wants to be traded because the Eagles will be drafting the quarterback of their future of course the Jets will be brought up as a logical trade partner, but the question isn't even as much do the Jets want to trade for him as it is will the Eagles be willing to trade him.
As confused as people are with how the Jets have handled their quarterback situation - even though no one should be confused, Mike Maccagnan has set his number and he's wisely not willing to overpay - no one has taken a more confusing approach to their quarterback situation than the Eagles. The Eagles signed Bradford to a two-year deal worth $35 million. $22 million fully guaranteed plus $4 million guaranteed for injury, then they went and signed Chase Daniel a three-year $21 million deal to be Bradford's backup. Now they've shipped numerous draft picks, too many draft picks, to the Browns for the number two overall pick in the draft so they could draft Carson Wentz.
On one hand this actually makes perfect sense, they can draft Wentz and redshirt him for a year. Start Bradford this year, if he struggles or gets hurt again they can go with Daniel who has the familiarity with new coach Doug Pederson's system then in 2017 they can move on from Bradford if they choose and go with Wentz. One the other hand they have a huge chunk of their 2016 salary cap tied up in three quarterbacks, gave up a ton of draft picks and now they have pissed off the guy they want to be their starting quarterback in 2016. It's fair to debate if Bradford has a right to be pissed, he hasn't proven he deserves to be the unquestioned starter for years to come, but it was easy to predict that he would be pissed.
And of course Bradford is pissed, he wants to be traded and will now skip voluntary workouts this season and his agent confirmed this saying "Sam wants to be the guy. He doesn't view himself as a stop-gap quarterback."
Which, fine. That's great that he doesn't view himself as a stop-gap, but what matters is how the team views him and the fact that he signed a contract that screams stop-gap. If the Eagles viewed Bradford as the long-term solution they would've given him a long-term deal, where Bradford does have a little bit of a right to be upset is now it would appear it doesn't matter if he lights the NFL on fire and has one of the best seasons in NFL history, the Eagles will still likely move on from him after next year. But really, so what? If he plays well, and stays healthy, someone else will give him that long-term deal and even if his trade request is granted no other team is going to look at him as anything more than a stop-gap until he proves he's more than that.
With the Jets still unable to reach a deal with Fitzpatrick it would make sense for them to inquire about Bradford, the Broncos have reportedly checked in already and because of Maccagnan's love for "due diligence" we can assume he will at least make a phone call. But the biggest hurdle to a trade would be whether the Eagles would be willing to trade him. They already paid Bradford an $11 million signing bonus and they clearly want him to be their starter for this year so what incentive do they have to trade him?
The fact that the Eagles already paid him that signing bonus makes Bradford more attractive to the Jets and Broncos as whoever trades for him would only be on the hook for $7 million this year but the Eagles don't want to play a player $11 million to play for another team. Then there's the question of what could they get in return? Forget Bradford's value as a healthy quarterback because everyone knows about his injury history so mid-to-late round draft picks is realistically the best the Eagles could hope for. The Broncos thought the opening asking price for Bradford was too high, but that's how negotiations work.
If the Eagles are willing to trade him that asking price could come down, but the problem for the Jets is their lack of picks. They have no fifth or sixth-round picks and won't likely be interested trading a third or higher for an injury prone stop-gap quarterback. They could be willing to trade their fourth-round pick or a 2017 pick, but would that be enough for the Eagles? And would that even be worth it? The fact that it's even debatable would make one lean to saying no.
There would have to be a lot of hurdles cleared for the Jets to pull off a trade for Bradford but it's not impossible. They obviously don't have the cap space to afford him now but if they still plan on signing Fitzpatrick at around $8 million per they could certainly find a way to fit in Bradford's $7 million. Maybe Chan Gailey could work his magic with Bradford just as he did with Fitzpatrick but the smart money is still on Fitzpatrick eventually accepting the Jets best offer and Bradford playing out the season in 2016.
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)null