In the spring, quarterback Sam Bradford expressed that he no longer wanted to play for the Philadelphia Eagles. He wanted to be traded to another team and leave the city of brotherly love behind. On Saturday morning, Bradford finally got his wish.
The Minnesota Vikings lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for the season on Tuesday when he suffered a torn ACL. Minnesota was in scramble mode to try and find a replacement, as the thought of Shaun Hill or Joel Stave starting was not something the Vikings wanted to go through with.
Philadelphia and Minnesota were in talks for Bradford and finalized the deal on Sunday morning. In order to get Bradford, the Vikings gave up a 2017 1st round pick and a 2018 4th round pick, which could turn into a 3rd or 2nd round pick, depending how successful the Vikings can be with Bradford.
Giving up a first round pick for a quarterback who has been haunted with injuries in his career might seem like a bad move on paper, but Minnesota has picked nine times in the first round in the last five years. They can afford to not pick in the first round in 2017.
Last season, Minnesota won the division despite Bridgewater only throwing for 14 touchdowns. He was more of a game manager, but that is not a bad thing, especially when your team wins the division. Bradford threw for 3,725 yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in Chip Kelly’s unique offense. If Bradford can replicate his 2015 numbers and cut down on the turnovers, Minnesota will be alright for the year.
The Eagles ate $11 million of Bradford’s contract, which means the Vikings will owe him a base salary of $7 million this season.
Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman made it known that he was not about to give up a king’s ransom and pieces to the future of the team just to replace Bridgewater. Some teams wanted an arm and a leg, but Spielman would not budge. He doesn’t want to hinder the future success of his team just for one season without his starting quarterback. Still it’s fair to question if this move was out of desperation when looking at the compensation.
Bradford, for the second year in a row, will be handing the ball off to a former Oklahoma teammate. Last year, Bradford linked back up with DeMarco Murray and this year he will be handing the ball frequently to Adrian Peterson, who was Bradford’s teammate during his redshirt freshman year.
So what’s next for the Eagles? With the loss of Bradford, the starting signal caller looked to be Chase Daniel, who has had a pretty good camp heading into the regular season. He was named the backup quarterback prior to the Bradford trade, taking all of the snaps behind him. Now it appears as if the number two overall pick has jumped over Daniel and barring his recovery from a rib injury, will be starting Week 1.
The dark horse winner of this trade is the Cleveland Browns. When the Eagles traded up in this year’s draft to take Wentz at two, they traded with the Browns, who acquired Philadelphia’s 2017 first round pick. Cleveland has to be pleased with a backup and a rookie quarterback leading the Eagles in 2016. Now, how the Browns handle that draft pick, wherever it might be, is an entirely different discussion for another day.
The chances of Minnesota winning the NFC North for a second-straight season now don’t look like a complete longshot. Bradford got his wish and now he will find out if his third team is the charm. Philadelphia wasn’t going to win the division or be a Super Bowl contender with Bradford, so they did the right thing by acquiring draft picks, especially with Wentz waiting in the wings to take over.
At the end of the day, both sides feel they are winners in this deal. Minnesota gets a quarterback to fill the void of Teddy Bridgewater, while Philadelphia stocks up on draft picks.