Bradford made his two-year contract with the Cardinals official Friday, Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals' official site reports. The physical was looming as a potential holdup, though the Cardinals obviously know that Bradford's balky left knee is part of what they're signing up for. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer referred to the knee as "degenerative" a couple weeks ago, though he also mentioned that Bradford has been able to ski during the offseason. Never known for his durability, the 30-year-old quarterback may find it especially difficult to stay healthy while playing behind a porous Arizona offensive line. He'll at least get to play with David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, though the complementary weapons are lacking through the first few days of free agency. Bradford won't have much appeal outside of two-QB leagues unless the Cardinals secure major upgrades around him in the coming weeks. Fellow free-agent addition Mike Glennon doesn't figure to have any real shot at unseating Bradford for the starting job.
Bradford intends to sign with the Cardinals, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Bradford presumably will serve as the 2018 starter while Arizona develops a young quarterback behind him. With Case Keenum reportedly going to Denver, Kirk Cousins to Minnesota and Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland, the Jets and Bills are the only remaining teams with clear needs for a veteran QB, which means Teddy Bridgewater, AJ McCarron and Josh McCown may be fighting for two spots. Bradford will enjoy throwing to Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson, but the 30-year-old's troublesome left knee may not hold up for long behind a porous offensive line. The Cardinals need to do more work in the coming weeks if they want to field a 2018 offense that's any better than mediocre.
Bradford was able to ski last week, but Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer suggested the quarterback's left knee is still considered degenerative, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports. Bradford's ability to serve as the Vikings' backup quarterback during the playoffs doesn't seem to lessen the long-term concern regarding a left knee that required ACL repair surgery in both 2013 and 2014. While he did bounce back with a solid campaign in 2015 and the best year of his career in 2016, the 30-year-old quarterback aggravated his knee last season, eventually having arthroscopic surgery in early November. Now set to hit free agency, Bradford likely will field offers for a starting job, but his medical history will make it tough to land a contract with significant guaranteed money beyond 2018. The Vikings probably prefer to sign Kirk Cousins or Case Keenum, leaving Bradford to seek employment with one of the other QB-needy teams in the league. The Cardinals, Jets, Bills, Broncos and Browns come to mind as potential suitors.
Bradford completed 32 of 43 passes for 382 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions over two games for the Vikings in 2017. Coming off a 2016 season in which he recorded the highest completion percentage in league history, Bradford came out blazing to start the 2017 campaign, dicing the Saints for 346 yards and three scores in Week 1. However, he seemingly suffered an unspecified left knee injury in the process and only made one more game appearance before ending the year on injured reserve. Bradford was ultimately activated during the Vikings' playoff run, so he appears to be entering the offseason at full health, but the Oklahoma product is nonetheless facing an uncertain future considering he'll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the league year.
Bradford will serve as the Vikings' backup quarterback in Sunday's NFC championship game at Philadelphia. For the second week in a row, Bradford has usurped Teddy Bridgewater as the top reserve option to starter Case Keenum, who has handled most of the offensive snaps among Vikings QBs since Week 2.
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