VERO BEACH, FLORIDA – Huh? What in the (hades) were they thinking!
That was MAS’ reaction recently to some dubious quarterback decisions made by a pair of NFL ball clubs.
If MAS had a bigger chin instead of his mini-job, it surely would have hit the floor in each instance.
The first jaw dropper was the Houston Texans’ big bucks ($72 million over four years) free agent signing of an unproven QB commodity, former Denver signal caller Brock Osweiler.
More on this near mandible unhinging later.
Let’s move on to the second and even more befuddling bit of personnel maneuvering. That carried out by the Philadelphia Eagles.
In March, they inked their own free agent QB Sam Bradford (who had just broken several team passing records) to a two-year $35 million deal, apparently convinced that he was their guy going forward.
Turns out, they were thinking just IMMEDIATE future.
Because, surprisingly, the Eagles then traded up for the No. 2 pick in the first round of this year’s draft so they could select yet another signal caller, Carson Wentz, out of North Dakota State.
To be their quarterback of the NOT-TOO-DISTANT future, they announced.
Predictably, their shenanigans set off an undesirable chain of events.
MAS will get to them in a bit, but first let’s return to the Texinsanity of Houston inking Osweiler.
Is it just MAS or are you also saying to yourself: Geez how can they throw superstar money at a guy who has yet to prove himself on the NFL level?
Breaking the bank on someone else’s tried and true QB is one thing, gambling big bucks on a guy who shows so-so promise is quite another.
The word that quickly comes to mind for doing this: dumb.
MAS does not see the same potential in Brock Osweiler that the Texans seem to.
He was a pedestrian game-manager in his only stint as the Broncos starter at QB, down the stretch of the 2015 NFL regular season following an injury to Peyton Manning.
Denver even had to send a not-yet-fully healed Manning back into action prematurely to save its playoff bacon.
Houston, desperate for more than just an average quarterback (which is what they’ve been saddled with the past few seasons), has clearly overreached.
Denver personnel head John Elway apparently agrees with MAS.
And, as a two-time Super Bowl winner and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Elway obviously knows a little bit about quarterbacking.
He didn’t come out and say directly that Houston had overpaid. But, by letting Osweiler wander off to accept the Texans’ dough, his inaction said it for him.
Now, on to the Sam Bradford-Philadelphia Eagles combo fiasco/travesty.
It wasn’t bad enough that the Eagles let a dynamic coach in Chip Kelly slip through their fingers because they weren’t cerebral enough to appreciate Kelly’s innovative approach.
The organization then doubled down on dumb by first paying top dollar to re-sign Bradford and then drafting another QB in Wentz so high.
Did they not consider the possible repercussions?
Had the 28-year-old Bradford known beforehand that this would happen, he surely would have turned down Philly’s two-year offer and signed a longer term deal elsewhere.
So, as anyone with half-a-brain could anticipate, the Eagles now have a huge headache on their hands and potentially more problems ahead when official practices begin.
Bradford has demanded a trade and skipped voluntary offseason workouts, despite the Eagles insisting he is their starter.
And who can blame him?
Certainly not MAS.
Yet many pundits somehow find fault with his attitude.
They are bloviating that Bradford should just shut his mouth, take the long green and play good enough to retain his job beyond two years.
Sounds plausible at first blush.
But those people hadn’t just set Eagles passing records for completions (346) and completion percentage (65 percent) like Sam did last season, firmly establishing his capabilities.
Bradford should have earned Eagles brass’ confidence and backing and not just monetarily.
And if he hadn’t, the organization should have been up front with Sam about it. Not let the situation deteriorate into the bad-for-everybody mess it has become.
Said Bradford’s agent Tom Condon: “Sam wants to play where he’s going to stay for a long time, if he plays well. He does not view himself a stop-gap quarterback.”
Which is what Bradford is, now that Doug Pederson is the new Eagles coach and Howie Roseman has regained personnel power previously stripped from him and given to Kelly.
Obviously, the pair are big believers in Wentz. (Conversely, MAS is not; Wentz is hardly a “can’t miss” prospect.)
And at the same time, Roseman and Pederson reportedly would love to eventually strip away the last main vestige of Kelly’s franchise influence (Chip had acquired Bradford before last season).
But the Eagles moves are not just unwise because they’ve created a possibly untenable situation with Bradford.
What the front office may have also done is injected their locker room with what could be a lethal dose of camaraderie cancer.
You don’t think the other Eagles players are not also saying “What the . . .” now that their established and respected leader has become a lame- duck QB?
If there’s anyone who doesn’t believe there could now be a severe lack of trust in management and chemistry problems on that ball club, then MAS guarantees those people have never pulled on a jockstrap in a football locker room.
Oh, the players won’t come out and say so, of course.
For self-preservation purposes, they’ll spout the company line or say “my job is to just play.”
But seeing how the team did Bradford, there’s a good chance players will be thinking to themselves, “Forget that ‘team’ crap, I’m looking out for No. 1 from now on. If they did that to Sam, they could do it to me, too.”
Hardly a winning attitude. Clearly, the Eagles murky machinations do not represent a recipe for success.
To tie a nice little bow around this MAS rant, the Broncos then showed how to sensibly deal with a QB you’re not entirely sold on.
First, they showed insufficient interest in Osweiler, causing Brock to bolt.
Next, Denver signed Mark Sanchez to be their stop-gap signal caller — an opportunity Sanchez was over the moon about.
Then, in the first round of the draft, the Broncos nabbed their QB of the future, Paxton Lynch out of Memphis.
No muss, no fuss.
And MAS’ jaw never budged.
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