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Vikings become latest team to fall for Sam Bradford mirage

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings fancied themselves a Super Bowl contender headed into the season, so it’s understandable that everyone panicked after quarterback Teddy Bridgewater tore all of his knee this week. The Vikings were rumored to be interested in just about QB known to be available, but on Saturday they made a move that almost no one expected.

According to Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport, Minnesota has acquired quarterback Sam Bradford from the Philadelphia Eagles, sending back a 2017 first and 2018 fourth round pick.

What the trade means for the Seahawks and the NFC:

  • Bradford now becomes the Vikings starting QB, replacing veteran Shaun Hill. The team had few other options internally after rookie Joel Stave broke his hand and they released Brad Sorensen. Meanwhile, Bradford is as Bradford does — last year he had 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with 7.0 Y/A and a rating of 86.4. I think he certainly knows how to quarterback, and he’s rarely had the deck stacked in his favor, but it’s still rather unbelievable how much teams value him.

He’s had 63 starts to prove himself, yet Bradford has a passer rating of 81.0 and a Y/A of 6.5. His reward for this is over $100 million in career earnings, including the two-year, $36 million deal he just signed this year with Philadelphia. On top of that, Minnesota just gave up their first round pick for next year to acquire him, plus a fourth, which comes over a year after the Eagles deal Nick Foles and a second round pick. He’s treated more like the prospect he was coming out of Oklahoma six years ago than he is like the below-average starting QB he’s been ever since. Did the Vikings get better with this trade? They may have upticked their chances a little bit for this season, but giving up the picks and knowing that you’ve still got him under contract for next year when Bridgewater very well may return, seems like a bad move overall for the organization.

  • Philly pulls off the miracle of not only ridding themselves of Bradford’s bad contract (their own fault, but they paid for it: $11 million of his 2016 salary comes from the Eagles, meaning he’s costing the Vikings just $7 million), but they also add back one of the first round picks that they used to trade up for Carson Wentz in the draft this year. That alone is a phenomenal reward and makes this trade itself a win already. However, Wentz has not been impressive in the preseason, meaning that Philly likely did this with the intent that Chase Daniel would be their starting QB for the year.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old Daniel has made two career starts, the most recent coming in 2014 with Kansas City. He is 50-of-77 for 464 yards with one touchdown and one interception for his entire career. So when the team inevitably gives the job to Wentz, it’ll likely be too soon for the rookie to be at the point where he’s ready to help the Eagles win — and that’s only if you think he’ll ever do that, which I have had my doubts about since leading up to the draft.

Bradford probably wasn’t going to lead Philly to the playoffs this season, but his absence likely hurts their chances of being as much of a threat to opposing teams during the 2016 season. The Eagles and Seahawks meet on November 11 in Seattle.