The Minnesota Vikings were in search of a stopgap solution at quarterback after Teddy Bridgewater suffered a gruesome season-ending knee injury. They found one on Sept. 3, when they acquired Sam Bradford from the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles confirmed the news and officially announced the team netted a 2017 first-round pick and 2018 fourth-round pick in exchange for Bradford. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the 2018 pick would become a third-round selection if the Vikings reach the NFC Championship Game. He added that if the team wins the Super Bowl, it becomes a second-round pick.
As ESPN's Jeff Darlington noted, patience paid off for Howie Roseman, the Eagles' executive vice president of football operations:
"We felt like the trade was a good opportunity for both teams," Roseman told reporters.
Bradford signed a two-year, $36 million deal with $26 million guaranteed in March, but he requested a trade shortly after putting pen to paper, when the Eagles dealt a bounty of draft picks—including their 2017 first-round pick—to the Cleveland Browns for the No. 2 overall pick that they spent on quarterback Carson Wentz.
And although Bradford rescinded his request in early May, it became clear after the Eagles drafted Wentz that Bradford's days in Philadelphia were numbered.
Thus, it shouldn't come as a shock that Bradford is reportedly "thrilled" with the trade to Minnesota, according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio.
And with Bradford out of the picture in the City of Brotherly Love, the door was seemingly open for Chase Daniel to take over as the team's starting quarterback until Wentz was ready. However, Adam Caplan of ESPN reported the Eagles are planning on starting Wentz against the Browns in Week 1 if he can heal from his rib injury.
As for the Vikings, dealing for Bradford gives them a legitimate stopgap who can help avoid a significant backslide while Bridgewater is on the shelf, especially considering they did some investigating on the asking prices of Kansas City Chiefs second-stringer Nick Foles and Baltimore Ravens backups, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
On Monday, head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters he wasn't ready to name a starter against the Titans, adding Hill and Bradford will both work with the first team in practice this week.
Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reported Wednesday that the Vikings are pushing for Bradford to start Sunday's game:
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Although Bradford is not among the league's premier gunslingers, he's an effective pocket passer with decent mobility who excels at hitting receivers in short-to-intermediate windows.
Bradford has also flashed excellent poise with pass-rushers in his face throughout the preseason, as Pro Football Focus noted:
Dealing for Bradford also buys the Vikings time with regard to the 2017 season.
Ben Goessling of ESPN reported the Vikings would have to pay Bradford a $4 million roster bonus if he's still with the team on Day 5 of the 2017 league year. Despite that, the Vikings can rid themselves of the money Bradford is owed next season without a significant penalty.
If the Vikings keep him on the roster through the end of his deal, it would give Zimmer a much-needed security blanket as Bridgewater recovers from a torn ACL and dislocated knee, according to Pro Football Talk:
And after the Vikings tasted success last season, when they captured their first NFC North title since 2009, taking a step back with Hill at the helm evidently wasn't appealing.
So while the price may have been steep, the Vikings can enter the 2016 season with some stability under center and keep their Super Bowl aspirations alive.