Thanks to a blockbuster trade for a former top overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and 2008 Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma in Sam Bradford between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings, it’s Super Bowl or bust for Minnesota.
Before you are still trying to digest how and why the Vikings gave up a 2017 first round pick and conditional fourth rounder for a player who’s as fragile as fine china, there is a method behind Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman’s madness.
Sam Bradford, as in If-Sam Bradford can-stay-healthy Bradford!
Yes! THAT Bradford!
As crazy as it sounds, Bradford and the Vikings may be a perfect match for each other.
Unlike his previous two teams in Philadelphia and St Louis, Bradford will be surrounded by skill players that scare opposing teams in Minnesota. Kyle Rudolph is a Pro Bowler at tight end, and one of the best in the NFL is not named Rob Gronkowski or Tyler Eifert. Bradford will also have some real weapons to work with on the outside in the form of wideouts Stefon Diggs, Charles Johnson and rookie Laqoun Treadwell.
And then, there is AP–in Adrian Peterson.
If I’m an opposing defensive coordinator having to game plan against Minnesota, chances are I will not be getting a lot of sleep as you HAVE to honor AP in the backfield by bring up a safety and loading the box. Unfortunately, this will only up a hole in the secondary for Bradford to exploit downfield in throwing to one of the NFL’s most underrated WR corps.
So basically, it’s picking your poison.
Do you want to risk seeing AP rampage thru your loaded-up box, or seeing Bradford pick it apart your secondary with sniper-like precision? Remember, Bradford has never had a running back quite like AP to take the pressure off of him in Minnesota, and what many over-reacting “experts” are failing to miss is the prospective importance of the Peterson-Bradford battery for the Vikings.
Also, that Minnesota defense is nothing to sleep on either.
In Philadelphia–mainly–not as much as St. Louis–nee Los Angeles–now, Bradford never had a good defense to help protect a lead, or keep a game close late. Thanks to talented standouts such as safety Harrison Smith, linebacker Anthony Barr, defensive end Everson Griffen and defensive tackle Linval Joseph, Bradford is now in a comparable Peyton Manning-like situation of being a quality quarterback benefiting from a top-five elite-level defense.
At 6’4 and a solid 224, the still young, 28-year-old Bradford is a perfect fit for Minnesota. This is because of what he brings to the table offensively, and he has the perfect offensive coordinator in Norv Turner, who will turn his cannon of an arm loose downfield in his Air Coryell/West Coast offense.
If only, he can stay healthy. Yes, that has been the wrap on Bradford, as he has missed 41 games out of a possible 96 games, due to a combination of shoulder, head, knee and ankle injuries throughout his six-year NFL career. If currently injured Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had an equally star-crossed and oft-injured kindred spirit, it would be If-Sam.
Yes, that has been the wrap on Bradford, as he has missed 41 games out of a possible 96 games, due to a combination of shoulder, head, knee and ankle injuries throughout his six-year NFL career. If currently injured Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had an equally star-crossed and oft-injured kindred spirit, it would be If-Sam.
And therein lies the rub.
To salvage their season after their young franchise QB in Teddy Bridgewater is lost for the season due to a season-ending–and possibly career-ending injury, the Vikings go all in on an oft-injured QB, better known for his M.A.S.H.-like resume of injuries such as Bradford.
It may sound crazy to mention the injury-prone Bradford, the defending NFC North champion Vikings and “Super Bowl” in the same sentence, but if you look at the bigger picture, it all comes into focus, as it is now or never for Minnesota now.