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ESPN: Sam Bradford to Sign With Arizona Cardinals

It's a one-year, $20 million deal with a second-year opton

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, former Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford will sign with the Arizona Cardinals.

Schefter reported Bradford and the Cardinals agreed to a one-year deal for $20 million, including $15 million guaranteed. The contract includes a second-year option for another $20 million.

Bradford was acquired by the Vikings via a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles just 15 days before the 2016 season. The move followed a major knee injury suffered by Teddy Bridgewater in practice. Bradford was under contract for 2-years at $35 million.


After sitting the first week Bradford started the next 15 games. He went 395 of 552 (71.6%) for 3,877 yards with 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. Despite the impressive box-score stats and historically high completion percentage, Bradford led the team to a 7-8 record as a starter and the Vikings missed the playoffs following a 5-0 start to the season.


In what was perhaps his finest regular season performance, Bradford went 27 of 32 for 346 yards and three touchdowns in a Week 1 win over New Orleans. Unfortunately for Bradford, it was the last time he saw the field healthy. A “degenerative” knee issue kept him off the field for all but one half the rest of the year. He attempted to start in Chicago but it was clear that Bradford was not comfortable on the leg. Despite being activated off the PUP list for the playoffs, Bradford did not play after Week 5 at Chicago.

Recently from VT:

  • Shortly after the Vikings hired him in February, offensive coordinator John DeFilippo talked about Bradford and working with him in the past:

“I had a great relationship with Sam. Sam is a fantastic person and a fantastic player. Sam is probably the purest passer that I’ve ever coached, and I’ve been fortunate enough to coach some really good quarterbacks. And he’s probably the most accurate pure passer I’ve ever coached. Obviously he brings a ton of physical attributes to the table. He can drive the football to the perimeter better than most people think. Sam’s a tremendous quarterback.”

“It’s really the $64,000-question will all three of these guys. Right? I mean, can Sam stay healthy? Is Teddy what he was? Is Case the guy that he was last year or that he was two years ago? With Sam… I think he’ll stay healthy, but, who knows. I have a crystal ball but I didn’t bring it with me.”

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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and is an IT nerd by day. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBormanNFL.

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  1. Okay, so assuming the dominoes are falling as reported:

    Cleveland: Tyrod Taylor is their bridge QB and the browns are expected to take a QB with the first or fourth pick of the first round, or maybe trade one of the picks down and still take a QB with either the remaining Top Five pick or their new, lower first rounder.

    NY Giants: Eli Manning remains their starter but is also, I hope, their bridge to their next starting QB to be chosen with the second overall pick in the draft.

    Denver: Keenum is getting two years and $36 million from what I’ve seen, which is fair in this market, whatever one might think of Keenum (one-hit wonder vs. just as good or better than Cousins, or both). John Elway says they aren’t giving up on Paxton Lynch, but I’d still bet on them choosing a QB with the fourth overall pick. I’m hoping it’s Josh Allen just because I can’t really stand Elway.

    NY Jets: Bridgewater and McCown, and I think we all expect a QB to still be taken with the sixth pick in the first round; I like Baker Mayfield myself, and am praying that the Jets have learned their lesson from Christian Hackenberg and avoid Josh Allen like the plague. Still, I suppose the Jets could throw us all a curve and wait until Day 2.

    Miami: They’ve got Ryan Tannehill returning from injury but have reportedly thought about bringing in someone to challenge him for the job, whether via free agency – Bridgewater had been mentioned – or the draft.

    Buffalo: Hmm. They’re still in need of a bridge QB to their QB of the future, who is likely coming from this draft, and possibly from a lot higher than the #12 overall pick that they just acquired from Cincinnati. A.J. McCarron is the best bridge QB option left in free agency, unless Mike Glennon still stirs your juices or you’re dying for Ryan Fitzpatrick to take one more run for the Bills. I didn’t think so, and I don’t think Bills management is looking at McCarron as their QB of the future, not with the moves they’ve made in the draft, but he does make sense with a two-year deal cheaper than either Keenum or Bradford got.

    Arizona: Bradford gets $20 million for one year, $15 million guaranteed, and a second year option. Clearly, the Cardinals are confident enough in the short-term health of hisleft knee and also confident that they’ll get Bradford at his 2016-Game 1 of 2017 best. Good bet, but an expensive one, and the Redbirds are definitely still looking for a QB with their #15 pick in Round 1.

    Jacksonville: Their new three-year deal with Blake Bortles appears to lock him in for the next two years, not the one I originally thought it did, but they’ve also been mentioned as looking to bring in someone to challenge him or at least goad him into doing a better job. If I had to guess, I’d say the Jaquars stay put and either reach for a QB at #29 – Mason Rudolph, most likely, and that isn’t much of a reach for the consensus second rounder – or try to improve their position in Round 2 to get Bortles’ challenger/goad.

    Minnesota: Cousins will need a back-up (Manziel vs. Manuel vs. Sloter, babies!), but he’s not coming from Days 1 or 2 of the draft.

    So, with Cousins going to Minnesota, there are six to eight teams that might still be looking for a QB in the first round of the 2018 draft, but only five quarterbacks – in alphabetical order, Allen, Darnold, Jackson, Mayfield and Rosen – in this draft class who are generally considered first round material, if not Top 10 material. But which of those teams with picks in the first six of the draft – the Browns, Giants, Broncos or Jets – might bypass a QB and try waiting for one to fall to them later in the first round or until Day 2? None of them seem likely to me to take that risk, which would leave only one consensus first round QB available for Miami, Buffalo, Arizona or, least likely, Jacksonville. The Bills have extra picks in the first, second and third rounds, so they should have no problem jumping into the Top 10, or even into the Top 5. The Cardinals have an extra third round pick, which might allow them to swing a deal to jump ahead of Miami, but they may have to expend future draft capital to do it, and are still unlikely to be able to jump ahead as far as the Bills can. The Dolphins have an extra fourth rounder this year, so they aren’t likely going anywhere.

    Unless one or two of those five rookies start falling, or the Giants decide not to trouble Eli Manning with thoughts of his mortality, or the Broncos really are willing to give Paxton Lynch another shot, or the Jets have more faith in Bridgewater’s knee than anyone in the Vikings’ front office has, or the Bills are not following the Eagles’ playbook when they drafted Carson Wentz, Miami and Arizona are both likely going to be shut out of the first round QB lottery, even with their Top 15 picks. Maybe they reach for a QB no one expected to go on Day 1, or maybe they trade down instead of up, and reach for a Day 2 QB late in the first round, like Jacksonville might, or maybe they just wait for Day 2, or maybe they look to acquire a young guy needing a change of scenery (Lynch, Hundley or Kessler, anyone?) or trying to get back into the league (Johnny Football!).

    I doubt many folks thought five QB’s could go in the first 10 picks of this draft, especially with one of the best free agent QB classes anyone can remember, but that’s what seems to be shaping up, and at least two teams with starting QB’s with surgically repaired knees, one a three-time fixer upper, might still be waiting around on Day 2 for the young QB they desperately (?) want. Wow.

    1. The Jets gave McCown what passes for very low end starter money ($10 million) and Bridgewater backup money. If you stop by a Jets fan site, you’ll see that everyone there expects (if not demands) that the Jets draft a QB at the top of the first round. (They currently hold the #6 pick.) Bridgewater could very well enter the regular season as the third string QB. (That’s assuming the Jets keep 3 QBs on the 53 man roster.)

      Bridgewater in the New York media market is going to be something to behold. New Yorkers pride themselves on being direct. They are not going to spend months crafting bizarre theories about how Bridgewater is an elite talent who is not being given a proper chance. They will either dismiss him outright or berate him openly. Teddy is a delicate little flower. He is not going to thrive in that kind of environment.

    2. This year’s draft is going to be awesome! Can’t wait to see where the QB’s end up

  2. Best of luck to him.

    His first game with the Vikings: with only two weeks of practice, in the inaugural game of the new stadium (on prime time no less), he takes the field against Green Bay and outplays Rodgers to lead the team to a win.

    His last complete game: after a couple of stalled drives, he throws laser after laser as the O moves the ball at will against the Saints’ shell-shocked defense.

    If only he could have stayed healthy…..

  3. Of the four QBs on the roster last year, Bradford was my favorite, and it wasn’t even close. It is a pity that his knee couldn’t hold up, as he has elite QB talent. With that said, I am not sad to see him go because his injury concerns make him a poor candidate for a team on the brink of the Super Bowl.

    Even given all of his injuries, it is not surprising to see him score the biggest AAV of all the former Vikings quarterbacks. It speaks to how much other teams respect what he brings to the table when he is healthy.

    I also have to take a moment to laugh at all the commenters who thought Bradford would never again see a chance to start in this league. They are the same people who thought Bridgewater would get “starter money” if he left the Vikings. Some people clearly need to stop trying to think, because they just aren’t very good at it.

    1. I was surprised to see him get $20 million after being diagnosed with a “degenerative” knee issue. But I agree, he’s an elite talent when healthy. Incredible arm.