Sam Bradford Better Put Up MVP Caliber Numbers to Justify Chip Kelly's Move


“In Chip we trust” — when it comes to his offense. As for valuing draft picks and cap space, well, the Bradford trade pushed me from Chip supporter to skeptic as GM. Even if Bradford is an improvement, the move is weird.

Jettison LeSean McCoy. Fine. Running backs age poorly and you might be selling high, if you want to spin it that way. Don’t retain Jeremy Maclin. Good, the money might have been too much. You could try to spin these moves as a) Kelly has faith in his system on offense, and is saving money so b) cap space can be used on defense.

[RELATED: Frank Gore Had Concerns About Chip Kelly’s Overbearing Approach in Philadelphia]

Then you are going to go trade for a QB who hasn’t stayed healthy and has a cap hit of nearly $13 million, by giving up a serviceable – and cheap for one more year – starting QB and extra picks? That includes a swap of a 4th for a 5th this year, and a 2nd rounder next year (with a conditional pick in the 3rd or 4th possibly coming back depending on Sam Bradford’s playing time).

You want stars, and you want to figure out where you can get by without them because of your coaching, drafting, and system. I can see the articles written as Bradford gets off to a hot start, about proving all the haters wrong. I’ll just remind thatMark Sanchez got off to a hot start in this offense. Nick Foles once threw six touchdown passes in a game. The offense has, by and large, been a success.

Here are the per-season numbers for all Philadelphia quarterbacks, combined, over the last two years: 281 pass yards per game, 61.5% completions, 7.96 yards per attempt, 30 TD, 15 INT.

[RELATED: Redskins Will Draft Marcus Mariota 5th Says John Clayton, Which is Hilarious on Multiple Levels]

That’s a combination of Nick Foles, Michael Vick, Matt Barkley and Mark Sanchez.

So is it likely that Sam Bradford’s numbers will go up? Absolutely. But that’s the over/under line on how productive he needs to be to exceed what a Chip Kelly offense can do with castoffs, young QBs, and aging veterans. Even with the other offensive losses, that’s the minimum break even point where this passing offense needs to be in order for this not to be re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Let’s face it, Bradford and his contract and health was a problem for St. Louis, and one that would have at best justified a late round pick to take a chance and take him off the Rams’ ledger.

Because of this move, though, basically, the passing numbers need to be MVP-candidate worthy to exceed what Philadelphia could have gotten for much cheaper financially, and less costly in terms of draft capital. Simply improving on his career 6.3 yards per attempt from five years of playing in the Rams’ offense and with their wide receivers isn’t enough.

Chip’s offense is a revelation in the NFL, but his understanding of the market and value leaves something to be desired.