Vikings trade first-round pick in package for Sam Bradford: 6 takeaways
Teddy Bridgewater tore his ACL last week, which turned the Vikings into suitors
As first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Vikings traded for Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford on Saturday. To land Bradford, they're sending a 2017 first-round pick and a 2018 fourth-round pick to the Eagles, as Geoff Mosher of 95.7 The Fanatic reported. The Eagles then confirmed the trade.
According to Schefter, that 2018 fourth-rounder will actually be a third-rounder if the Vikings journey to the NFC title game this season. And if the Vikings win the Super Bowl, it'll turn into a second-round pick.
The Vikings' need for a quarterback began when they lost Teddy Bridgewater for the season to a torn ACL last week. Before that injury, the Vikings were often regarded as a playoff team due to their running game (Adrian Peterson) and staunch defense led by coach Mike Zimmer, a combination that resulted in the NFC North crown a season ago. With Bradford as their quarterback, the Vikings might just return to the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Eagles will now reportedly enter the season with Carson Wentz as the starter, as long as he's healthy. They'll also enter the 2017 draft armed with a first-round pick that can be used to build an actual team around Wentz, the quarterback of the future.
Let's sort through the mess. Here are six takeaways from the trade that changed the landscape of the NFC:
1. Bradford gives the Vikings a fighting chance
So, clearly the Vikings weren't comfortable trotting out a 36-year-old Shaun Hill as their starting quarterback.
They'll trot out a 28-year-old Sam Bradford instead. And that's not an awful outcome, despite Bradford's inconsistencies as a quarterback. Bradford might actually be a better fit in Norv Turner's system than Bridgewater, and he'll have Pat Shurmur there to ease the transition. Shurmur, the Vikings' tight ends coach, served as the Eagles offensive coordinator and interim head coach after Chip Kelly got the boot last year.
According to SportsLine's simulations, the Vikings are only half a win worse with Bradford than they were with a healthy Bridgewater. SportsLine assumed Bradford wouldn't start until the second week of the season with Hill getting the nod in the season opener.
The Vikings can win with Bradford. That's why they made the trade. His shortcomings have been heavily documented since he entered the league as the No. 1 overall pick in 2010 -- 6.45 yards per attempt, 78 touchdowns, 52 picks, and an 81.0 passer rating in his career -- but he's capable of guiding an offense that's dependent on Adrian Peterson. It's an overused phrase, but Bradford can serve as a competent game manager.
Again, his traditional statistics are subpar. His unconventional statistics aren't.
First in accuracy percentage. pic.twitter.com/mFHFW3gHrF— Cian Fahey (@Cianaf) September 3, 2016
Sixth in failed receptions pic.twitter.com/ktZREYwTdH— Cian Fahey (@Cianaf) September 3, 2016
Presented without comment:
Sam Bradford actually graded slightly better than Teddy Bridgewater in PFF QB grades last year: 85.3 to 82.6 pic.twitter.com/QGchDG8pXz— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 3, 2016
As CBS Sports NFL columnist Pete Prisco said on Twitter, the Vikings wouldn't be parting ways with a first-round pick unless they believed they're a deep playoff team. That's a steep price to pay for a player who won't be on the team in a year or two.
To be clear, Bradford is nothing more than a short-term rental. That rental period might last just one season or it could extend into the 2017 season considering the ugly state and timing of Bridgewater's injury, and Bradford's contract, which runs through the 2017 season.
Really, everything lines up for the Vikings. They lost their young, franchise quarterback to a horrific injury, but they rebounded in the best possible way.
2. Will Carson Wentz take over?
And so, the Carson Wentz era begins. As first reported by ESPN's Adam Caplan, the Eagles will turn to Wentz as their starting quarterback as long as his hairline fracture heals before Sept. 11, when the Eagles open up the season against the Browns.
That's somewhat surprising. Chase Daniel, who the Eagles signed in free agency, is the obvious choice. Though he's started just two games in his career, he's a seasoned backup with plenty of experience in Doug Pederson's system. He isn't their long-term solution, but he could've functioned as the bridge to the Wentz era.
Instead, Daniel takes up Bradford's mantle as the angriest quarterback in Philadelphia.
Told same as @caplannfl: It's the Carson Wentz show in Philly when he's healthy. Source says Chase Daniel not happy.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 3, 2016
Meanwhile, Wentz was regarded by most scouts as a developmental prospect. Now, he's set to be the first of the three first-round quarterbacks to make his NFL debut.
3. The Eagles' poor decisions actually worked out
Remember when the Eagles handed contracts to Bradford and Daniel, and then proceeded to trade up to draft Wentz No. 2 overall? Yeah, all of those moves in conjunction with each other still don't make any sense.
But, due to Bridgewater's injury, the Eagles were bailed out of their bad decisions.
Now, the Eagles will enter the 2017 Philadelphia-located draft with a first-round pick after trading away their original first rounder to land Wentz. They'll also go into the 2018 draft with the Vikings' fourth-rounder (maybe even a second or third-round pick). The cost of those picks? $11 million, which is what they already paid to Bradford in the form of his signing bonus.
Like the Vikings, the Eagles also won the trade. The quarterback-desperate Vikings acquired a quarterback and the rebuilding Eagles, who had a surplus of quarterbacks, traded away one in exchange for two draft picks. It's a clear win-win.
4. Fantasy impact
The trade means a lot for real football. It doesn't mean nearly as much for Fantasy football.
As CBS Sports Fantasy analyst Heath Cummings writes, Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs should be bumped up to the No. 4 receiver range, Bradford's value shrinks a bit, Daniel's value increases, and the Eagles' receivers shouldn't be significantly downgraded.
You can read all of Cummings' analysis here.
5. Bradford's revenge
Bradford didn't react favorably to the Eagles' decision to draft Wentz, reportedly demanding a trade and launching a brief holdout. Despite signing a two-year contract that screamed BRIDGE QUARTERBACK, Bradford apparently felt as if he could be the Eagles' long-term solution.
He still won't be getting that chance -- not in Philly or Minnesota -- but he'll at least have a chance to take his revenge against the Eagles. On Oct. 23, right after he's had the bye to get extended work in his new offense, the Vikings and Eagles will meet at Lincoln Financial Field.
6. Quarterback market settles down
When Tony Romo and Bridgewater both suffered significant injuries, the quarterback market awakened as the Cowboys and Vikings scanned their options. Josh McCown, Mark Sanchez, Colin Kaepernick -- all three quarterbacks were floated as possible trade options.
With the Vikings' search ending Saturday, that market should die down a bit. The Cowboys, however, might still want a better option behind rookie Dak Prescott after Jameill Showers stumbled in the team's last preseason game. Since the Cowboys are high in the waiver claim order by virtue of last year's finish, they can sit back and wait out the wave of cuts Saturday before looking to add an experienced backup behind Prescott.
And that's exactly what they did, signing Mark Sanchez after the Broncos cut him.
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