When the Eagles traded up for the No. 2 overall pick in April’s NFL draft and what would turn out to be quarterback Carson Wentz, incumbent Philadelphia starter Sam Bradford was most displeased. In turn, Bradford’s public unhappiness earned him plenty of derision from Eagles fans — and, as became very clear Tuesday, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett.
In 2014, Bennett signed a four-year, $28.5 million contract, with $16 million guaranteed, a deal that appears more lopsided in Seattle’s favor with each passing year. As early as 2015, Bennett, a leader on the Seahawks’ defense, was agitating for a bigger payday and he takes a dim view of the way the well-compensated Bradford skipped some Eagles practices and demanded a trade.
“I listened to Sam Bradford again. I just almost threw up,” Bennett told, “Brock and Salk,” a Seattle-based ESPN radio show. “I can’t believe Sam Bradford is complaining about making $40 million in the next two years, because he actually has to compete for a position. This guy right here definitely sets a bad tone of what a player should be.”
Bradford signed a two-year, $36 million contract with the Eagles in the offseason, with $22 million fully guaranteed. He is likely correct that Philadelphia’s front office wants Wentz, not him, to be the team’s long-term starter, but Bennett dinged Bradford for not appearing to want to “compete” for his job.
“If I was his teammate … how can you play with a guy that doesn’t want to compete at a high level,” Bennett wondered, “and feels like his position should be solidified without even putting up the stats or the wins to back that up?”
This is hardly the first time that Bennett has called out a quarterback, as he has previously expressed his general disdain for that position. “What makes [a quarterback’s] life better than mine?” he asked on the same radio show in 2015 after being fined for a preseason hit on the Chiefs’ Alex Smith.
“Quarterback is the only position in the NFL where you could be mediocre and get paid. At every other position, you can’t be mediocre,” Bennett said in that appearance. He added, “You take a guy like Sam Bradford — he’s never played really in the last three years, but he’s made more money than most guys in the NFL.”
Bennett has also singled out other NFL quarterbacks, including the Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill and the Lions’ Matthew Stafford, for scorn. However, he offered a kind word Tuesday — sort of — for his team’s own signal-caller.
“Sometimes I like Russell Wilson,” Bennett said, also mentioning former Seahawk Warren Moon, best known for his career with the Houston Oilers, as a quarterback he doesn’t hate.
For his part, Bradford acknowledged Tuesday that he had stayed away from the team out of anger at its move for a possible replacement, saying (via NFL.com), “I could have stayed here, could have continued to work here, but I’m not sure my head really would have been here those two weeks.” Of Eagles fans, he said, “They have a right to be frustrated.”
Sounds like Bennett is also frustrated, so Bradford may want to watch out on Nov. 20. That’s when his Eagles travel across the country to take on the Seahawks and a certain, highly motivated defensive end.