Nigel Bradham was relieved when he learned the NFL had suspended him for one game.
Yup. Because it could have been a lot worse.
Bradham, the Eagles’ starting outside linebacker, will miss the 2018 opener against the Falcons for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Initially, his suspension was six games.
“When I heard six back after OTAs (in June), I was devastated,” Bradham said after practice Thursday. “I was devastated, for sure. That was way too harsh for something that wasn’t that big. That’s almost half the season.
“That came out of nowhere. So I feel like I’m fortunate. It sucks that I’ll miss that one game, but I’m happy it’s not more than one game.”
Bradham was arrested two years ago Friday on an assault charge at a Miami Beach hotel.
Two months later, he was arrested after forgetting he had a gun — a loaded gun — as he went through security at Miami International Airport.
Legally, both cases have been resolved.
Bradham completed a deferred prosecution program in the hotel assault case. Authorities simply dropped charges in the airport incident because Bradham had a concealed weapons permit and simply forgot he had the gun with him.
But in late June, the NFL announced that Bradham, who played extremely well for the Super Bowl champs last year, would be suspended, presumably because of the assault charge.
Bradham said the NFL Players Association and his personal lawyer worked together to appeal the original six-game suspension.
“We had to send documentation, everything about the case,” Bradham said. “They investigated it and that’s when it was reduced.
"Went six games to four to two to one.
“But it’s good that at least the process worked and they saw what kind of person I am. They pretty much decided to do just one game because something did happen.
“I can’t act like it didn’t happen because it did happen. It’s just a situation that was two years ago. It does suck.”
Bradham, 28, is beginning his third year with the Eagles and his seventh NFL season.
He’s been a model citizen since the summer of 2016, which certainly helped when it came time for the NFL to rule on his appeal.
“It sucks, but my thing is control what I can control and that’s just, continue to stay focused on my task and come out here every day trying to focus on me and getting better and becoming a great player,” he said.
“I want that to be in the past. It’s been so long. So for the suspension to happen now … it’s kind of redundant. But after this, there’s nothing else. It’s over.
“The important thing is that I grew from it. I learned a lot. I learned a lot from every standpoint of being a person. I learned you’ve got to have a strong mind and just have a strong mind and get through it.”
The Eagles, already thin at linebacker, released Mychal Kendricks and lost Paul Worrilow for the season.
Imagine if they didn’t have Bradham for six games?
Fortunately, they won’t have to worry about it.
What’s sad is that Bradham believes he won’t be allowed in the stadium for the opener Sept. 6 at the Linc.
“I definitely obviously want to see the banner put up in the stadium so I’ll miss that, which is a chance of a lifetime. You don’t get too many opportunities like that,” he said.
“But it’s the league policy. I’m just happy it wasn’t worse. I’m just happy that it’ll all be over with after (the opener) and I can just focus on football.”