The Minnesota Vikings made a bold move Saturday morning with a trade that netted them Sam Bradford from the Philadelphia Eagles. Yes, they gave up a 1st and 4th round pick but what they may get in return will be more valuable. The Vikings lost their starting QB, Teddy Bridgewater earlier in the week to a serious knee injury and were in total desperation mode as the QB search needed to be completed before the start of the season, Sept. 11th.
Bradford doesn’t have to compete with a rookie or a recently signed free agent, this is his team for the season, and if he plays his cards right, it could be his for as long as he wants it. Yes, I’m talking about that Bradford, the same one that will get behind center with a 25-37-1 career mark, the one that was run out of St. Louis and the one who ran himself out of Philly. So why all the excitement in Minnesota?
Easy, he is a better option than Bridgewater would’ve been had he been healthy at this stage in their careers. That may be hard for some to comprehend but look a little closer and tell me what you see. Last season Bridgewater threw for 3231 yards, 14 TDs, and 9 INTs, not Pro Bowl numbers but there were enough to get the Vikings an NFC North title and a place in the playoffs. A little further east, Bradford threw for 3725, 19 TD and 14 INTs in 14 games for the Eagles.
Stats wise, it may seem about even, but they were miles apart. Bridgewater had talent around him, a better organization, and a better coach. Bradford and the Eagles were a complete mess. Chip Kelly threw the team under the bus then walked away as fast as he came into the NFL. The knock on Bradford was never his ability to lead a team while on the field; it was how he can lead a team when he’s always on the sidelines? How can that change in Minnesota?
Bradford has the smarts to be a starting QB, what he was missing his entire career was the proper talent to help him reach his potential. He will go from having one of the worst defenses having his back to an up and coming unit. The RB situation is a no-brainer, and while the receiving core is young, it has potential with a QB that has the tools to be a QB. The Vikings finished 2015 ranked at the bottom in yards, completions, and attempts. The Eagles and Bradford finished in the middle of the pack.
If you give Bradford time and targets, he will make a difference. He now has the best insurance policy in league with Adrian Peterson and that alone should be a boost to his confidence. One of the positives about Bradford is his ability to get rid of the ball. Bridgewater took 44 sacks last season as his held on for too long, Bradford took 28, being a 5-year vet he now understands the importance of field position.
Some Vikings fans may not understand this move. The Vikings are division champs and in one practice that was all about to go down the drain. To win in this league, you must have guts to be able to make the hasty decisions. The Vikings front office looked over their shoulders and saw the smiles that were on the faces of every Green Bay Packer player and fans and did what they were supposed to do. The draft picks may hurt in the future, but a winning team is not concerned about a future, it’s about the now and with this move they showed the league how serious they are about winning.
Bradford may not have been their top choice but make no mistakes about it; he was the best and smartest choice.