Kansas City Chiefs receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster sent a Valentine’s Day message to James Bradberry on Tuesday. He thought he was being funny by referencing a controversial defensive holding call in Super Bowl LVII that ultimately ended the game. The greeting read: “I’ll hold you when it matters most” above a headshot of Bradberry.
Smith-Schuster was joking but not everyone was in a joking mood. Philadelphia Eagles fans flooded the comments section and vilified him for committing a classless act. Then, Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Brown dropped the hammer and let it clang loudly on the floor. He called Smith-Schuster “Tik-Tok boy” — an ode to his heavily scrutinized antics on the social media platform over the years — and credited Patrick Mahomes for resurrecting his career.
Eagles cornerback Darius Slay joined in to defend his teammate and criticized Smith-Schuster. Ditto for Bradberry himself who took a subtle dig at Smith-Schuster by reminding everyone that he (not Smith-Schuster) qualified for the All-Pro team. Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave had Bradberry’s back in the comments section.
Then, Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson piled on the Smith-Schuster hate: “I got more INT’s then bra had TD’s….. maybe I need to change to WR.” Yes, the Eagles’ locker room remains tighter than ever even in defeat.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes entered the fray with a more cryptic comeback. The Super Bowl MVP wrote: “That man must just be bored.” He didn’t specify which player he was putting on blast, although Twitter took it to mean he was defending Smith-Schuster. Especially after a deleted tweet from Brown emerged. He said, she said, or something like that. The Eagles-Chiefs feud is real and still simmering after Super Bowl LVII.
Bradberry Seeking Top Dollar in Free Agency
The Eagles returned to the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia on Tuesday to clean out their lockers and prepare for the long offseason ahead. Bradberry was only signed to a one-year deal in 2022 so his status remains one of the biggest question marks heading into free agency.
The 29-year-old was fantastic in his first season locking down opposing receivers next to Slay. Will the Eagles hand him an extension? They might. If they do, Bradberry isn’t taking a discount.
“I think I deserve top dollar,” Bradberry told reporters, via The Athletic’s Zach Berman. “It’s just a matter of who’s out there to willing to pay it at the end of the day. I would probably say I want to go to a team that has a good roster. And of course, I want the number to be right. What that number is in my head, I haven’t figured it out. I got more time to think about it. But I know I want to be on a good roster.”
Nick Sirianni Addresses Super Bowl Holding Call
Head coach Nick Sirianni was asked for his opinion on the defensive holding call on Bradberry. The refs fired the flag onto the field with 1:54 left in the fourth quarter, awarding the Chiefs an automatic first down and allowing them to run the clock down to 11 seconds before hitting a chip-shot field goal to win it. Sirianni could have slammed the officials but took the high road after the game.
“I’m not here to debate whether it’s the right call or the wrong call of course,” Sirianni said. “Sometimes it went against us. Of course, I don’t like it, but they’ve got to do a hard job in split-second decisions, but it never comes down to one play even though at times it perceives to. That’s the parity of this league. That you can always think, ‘Well, just this play.’ And that’s just not the case.”