By almost any measure, the Minnesota Vikings gave up too much for Sam Bradford. And that could have teams like the Browns and Jets—who both have QB’s they wouldn’t mind dealing — sitting pretty in a quarterback starved market.
In return for Bradford, the Eagles got a first-round draft pick in 2017, and a fourth-rounder in 2018. The 4th-round pick can turn into as high as a second-round pick if the Vikings win the Super Bowl and Bradford plays 80 percent of the snaps. That’s for a 28-year-old who’s battled injury and gone 25-37-1 in his five seasons in the league—lukewarm results to put it mildly.
The Vikings, of course, were in a panic just having lost Teddy Bridgewater to a season-ending knee injury. His presumed replacement, 36-year-old career backup Shaun Hill, hardly elicited confidence among the coaching staff so it was essentially a mad scramble in the days immediately following Bridgewater’s injury. And there were a few extenuating circumstances that made Bradford a more attractive option than his numbers might indicate.
Bradford is under contract through 2017. If Bridgewater’s dislocated knee and ACL tear haven’t healed by next season, they can keep him around for at least another year. Pat Shurmur, one of Bradford’s former coaches in both St. Louis and Philadelphia, is now a tight ends coach in Minnesota. Moreover, and this is undoubtedly his biggest allure, the Vikings are only responsible for $7 million of the $11 million he was under contract for with the Eagles.
This has to be good news for the Cleveland Browns, who are willing to trade Josh McCown, but only for a high draft pick, an offer they reportedly made to Dallas when Tony Romo went out with a back injury last week. But as they quickly found out, although he’s a good backup, he only seems to be of any real value in Cleveland.
“McCown isn’t a long-term target for the youth-infused Browns,” writes Marc Sessler of NFL.com. “But he’s also potentially their best quarterback for 2016. He’s also an unmatched leader in the locker room, which has plenty of value for a team with one of the league’s youngest rosters. The Browns can’t just trade McCown for a bag of wet spoons.”
The Bradford trade should also be of particular interest to the New York Jets, who’ve expressed a desire to part ways with Geno Smith. Smith is the number 2 guy on the roster, but the Jets have a surplus of QB’s and he’s seen around the organization as a player who’s already maxed out his potential. Unfortunately, New York sees more value in Smith than most.
“[Smith] has low-level trade value for a few select teams,” an AFC personnel director told ESPN, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “He’s not a commodity. I don’t see a guy I’d chase to trade for. You’re trading for a backup and he’s entering the last year of his deal, so you’re getting him for four months. Some teams might just wait for them to cut him loose because they won’t carry four quarterbacks.”
But, who would have thought that Bradford would bring so much in a trade?