Brad­ham fill­ing up po­lice blot­ter

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Bob Grotz bgrotz@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @BobGrotz on Twit­ter

PHILADEL­PHIA >> When you read the crime blot­ter, it sure looks like Ea­gles line­backer Nigel Brad­ham needs to make changes.

In 3½ months he’s been ar­rested twice, once for ag­gra­vated bat­tery caus­ing bod­ily harm in Mi­ami Beach, Fla., and this past Sun­day on a weapons charge at Mi­ami In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

The as­sault charge is a sec­ond­de­gree felony pun­ish­able by up to 15 years in jail ac­cord­ing to on­line in­for­ma­tion.

We still think there will be a set­tle­ment with the ca­bana worker Brad­ham al­legedly punched in the nose, al­though a hear­ing Wed­nes­day re­sulted in a Jan. 17 court date in Mi­ami Beach.

The weapons charge is a mis­de­meanor, as Brad­ham has a li­cense to carry a con­cealed weapon. Had he not been out on bail for the as­sault charge, he wouldn’t have been hit with the gun charge be­cause au­thor­i­ties at the air­port be­lieved his story that he for­got the weapon was in his bag.

You can see how these is­sues

snow­ball, right?

“Both of these were in­ci­dents that were away from here,” head coach Doug Ped­er­son said. “They are out of your con­trol that way. This is where guys need to just be smart about it. It’s their liveli­hood, it’s their families. In ev­ery­thing that we do, it’s no dif­fer­ent… You have got to make those smart choices.”

It’s not like Ped­er­son can block Brad­ham from go­ing to Mi­ami or Mi­ami Beach, a cou­ple of places where a chunk of the cit­i­zenry en­joys life in the fast lane. All the coach can do is is­sue a warn­ing — or two in this case — and if it con­tin­ues, move on. Brad­ham is un­der con­tract for this year and next. Un­for­tu­nately for Ped­er­son, he’s also been their best line­backer.

The weapons charge won’t make sense to a lot of peo­ple. Who for­gets they left a loaded gun in their back­pack when they go through air­port security? On their worst day the TSA peo­ple will find that. Brad­ham said the gun was in a zip­pered com­part­ment he rarely uses.

“A small zip­per on the bag,” Brad­ham said. “That’s all it was, an un­in­tended in­ci­dent. I was ob­vi­ously com­ing back for this week to get ready for prac­tice. I just made a mis­take.”

Brad­ham sounds be­liev­able. We be­lieve he really thought the Wed­nes­day court hear­ing on the as­sault charge re­sult­ing in the Jan­uary court date ac­tu­ally was sup­posed to be Fri­day. His lawyer is tak­ing care of the mat­ters, and he sent the help home af­ter lunch to get ready for Hur­ri­cane Matthew, ac­cord­ing to the voice mes­sage. The lawyer couldn’t be reached for com­ment on an­other num­ber.

But back to Brad­ham, the un­sung de­fen­sive hero in the Ea­gles’ 34-3 pre-bye week rout of the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers. The 27-year-old prod­uct of Florida State is a nice guy. His foot­ball IQ is way up there.

Brad­ham’s com­mon sense is an­other mat­ter. He’s re­spon­si­ble for his ac­tions on and off the field. But how can the de­ci­sions be so out there when he’s in Mi­ami, it seems?

Just the way Brad­ham at­tempted to de­scribe why he car­ries a loaded gun around Florida was eye­open­ing.

Brad­ham has the gun for pro­tec­tion for him­self and his fam­ily. The piece may be loaded but hey, it isn’t cocked, which is nec­es­sary be­fore shoot­ing it.

“It was loaded as far as bul­lets-wise but it wasn’t

“I don’t know all the cir­cum­stances around it. It’s ob­vi­ously, it’s a big deal, to do that. Ob­vi­ously he has it reg­is­tered. Lis­ten, I have ri­fles and I like to hunt but we just have to be smart. But it is a lit­tle sur­pris­ing that he car­ried it.” — Ea­gles’ coach Doug Ped­er­son

cocked,” Brad­ham said. “It’s al­ways a one-step process legally.

“In Florida, I don’t know how many peo­ple who know about the gun laws down there, but they’re very le­nient and a lot of peo­ple have guns. So it’s some­thing that could hap­pen to any­one.”

Brad­ham to­tally is within his rights to own the firearm. We’d like to think it’s not easy to get a con­cealed weapons per­mit.

Ea­gles vet­eran Mal­colm Jenk­ins ba­si­cally rolled his eyes when asked about the weapons is­sue.

“It’s Amer­ica,” Jenk­ins said. “I mean, you talk about guns. It’s not un­law­ful to have one. And I’m sure many guys own them. It’s just about be­ing smart when you take them out ob­vi­ously. But it’s noth­ing of con­cern… I don’t think there’s been really any is­sues, noth­ing that’s really dis­tract­ing or hurt­ing the team. Ob­vi­ously a cou­ple de­ci­sions he prob­a­bly wished he had back. But, no, I don’t think there’s a need to really ad­dress it.”

Ped­er­son is much more dis­ap­pointed. He paused some­where be­tween “scared” and “you” that Brad­ham was car­ry­ing a loaded weapon.

“I don’t know why any­body would do that,” Ped­er­son said. “I don’t know all the cir­cum­stances around it. It’s ob­vi­ously, it’s a big deal, to do that. Ob­vi­ously he has it reg­is­tered. Lis­ten, I have ri­fles and I like to hunt but we just have to be smart. But it is a lit­tle sur­pris­ing that he car­ried it.”

All of this brings me to the pro­tec­tion the gun sup­pos­edly af­fords. Brad­ham says his life hasn’t been threat­ened, which is good to know. He also said he has a two-yearold son. Do you need to have chil­dren to re­al­ize what could ac­ci­den­tally hap­pen with a loaded gun in the house?

“He’s pretty much watched at all times,” Brad­ham said.

We’d all like to be­lieve that. But can we?

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