The Minnesota Vikings made a blockbuster move to push for the postseason, trading with the Philadelphia Eagles for Sam Bradford after losing Teddy Bridgewater to a serious knee injury earlier in the week.
Philadelphia announced that the Vikings gave a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Eagles for Bradford.
Minnesota is still reeling from the loss of Bridgewater, a 2014 first-round pick who earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2015. The quarterback suffered a torn ACL, among other damage to his knee, during a non-contact injury in practice. It was such severe damage that Bridgewater has the Vikings’ fast-acting trainers to thank for likely saving his leg and career.
The injury was a gut check for the Vikings, a team hopeful of repeating as the NFC North champions in 2016 and making a deeper postseason run. A strong defense and a top rushing attack, led by future Hall of Famer and Bradford’s former college teammate Adrian Peterson, means the Vikings hopes aren’t sunk. The team still needed to add talent at quarterback, though.
With a roster capable of making a playoff run, the Vikings are pushing all their chips to the center of the table by giving up a first-round pick for Bradford. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft has never lived up to his draft selection, but has managed to be a relatively efficient quarterback in recent years.
During the 2015 season, Bradford finished with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, and completed 65 percent of his passes. In a Minnesota offense that will rely heavily on the run, he will be asked to keep the offense moving and avoid big mistakes rather than have the burden of carrying the team on his own.
Bradford will be the unquestioned starter on a roster that features Shaun Hill at the top of the depth chart at quarterback, along with rookie Joel Stave, who left the Vikings’ final preseason game with a hand injury. It remains to be seen how long it will take Bradford to grab that role though, and it’s possible that Hill could be the Vikings’ best option for Week 1.
The Eagles invested heavily at quarterback in the offseason by trading to move up and select Carson Wentz with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. However, the team has preached patience with the former North Dakota State star, so it’s more likely that former Kansas City Chiefs backup Chase Daniel will be the team’s new starting quarterback.
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