The first arrest, for aggravated assault, came in July 2016 at a Miami hotel. The second, at Miami Airport, was four months later — a misdemeanor concealed weapons charge.
Nigel Bradham didn’t like the way his life was going, and he decided to do something about it.
“Obviously, I went through some things and made some changes and got things right, figured it out,” Bradham said Thursday, after officially signing his five-year, $40 million contract with the Eagles.
“And I knew what I had to do and luckily for me I had an organization that stuck with me and was able to stand by me during that whole process and I was able to overcome it.”
“Just looking at myself and probably some of the people I was around and things like that,” he said. “Just taking a step back and realizing, ‘Why is all this happening?’
“Obviously, I’m a good guy and I’m really laid back and really chill, but some things were just going different for me, and I can’t really say exactly what it was, but I made some changes and it ended up working out for the better. ...
“I set goals to overcome it. I was doing things, trying to help youth, things like that, pretty much just to show them [who I was]. Everybody goes through something. It’s not just all glory.
“But I’m here today, and I overcame that and I feel like you go through adversity sometimes but that’s life and that’s what it’s all about.”
Bradham, 28, signed with the Eagles in March 2016, so he was still relatively new here when his arrests occurred.
There was some thought the Eagles would release him or suspend him back in the fall of 2016, but the Eagles stuck with him, and he wound up playing well that year and then had an exceptional season and postseason in 2017 for the Super Bowl champions.
That earned him a new contract that makes him the NFL’s 22nd-highest-paid linebacker and the eighth-highest-paid member of the Eagles based on average annual salary. (A closer look at the deal, though, shows it's actually extremely friendly to the Eagles.)
Bradham said the fact the Eagles stuck with him during some very difficult times had a lot to do with his desire to stay in Philly.
“It was huge, man,” he said. “Because they always believed in me. Throughout that whole process, people were saying all kinds of stuff, suspensions, all kinds of stuff, and the organization just really backed me up.
“[They said] pretty much, ‘No matter what happens, we’re going to stand by you,’ and it shows.
“This organization means everything to me. That shows loyalty and that’s something a lot of teams don’t have and it separates us, and I feel like that’s why we had the success we had last year.
“A lot of the small things a lot of other organizations don’t do, this organization does.”