A thunderous clap echoes throughout U.S. Bank Stadium. A crowd of more than 66,000 sends a deafening cheer onto the field. And in the huddle, Sam Bradford is preparing to take his first snap as quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings.
Louder than the fans and more ferocious than the Green Bay Packers, doubt casts an ominous shadow over Bradford’s soon-to-begin tenure with the Vikings. General manager Rick Spielman paid a fortune to acquire Bradford, giving up a 2017 first and 2018 fourth round pick for the seven-year veteran. In doing so, he banked his team’s future on a quarterback riddled with past injuries and surrounded by question marks.
The first pick of the 2010 NFL Draft had yet to live up to given expectations, and nothing indicated he’d ever get there. He’s what I originally called a spare tire — a short-term fix for the long-term problem of Teddy Bridgewater’s devastating knee injury.