Howie Boy Roseman: The Eagles big boss’ quarterback odyssey, has a happy ending. That two-year, $35 million contract the team gave Bradford in February doesn’t look so crazy after getting a first-round pick back for him.
It’s worth noting that the Eagles paid Bradford an $11 million signing bonus essentially for offseason practices, so the Vikings”only” owe Bradford $24 million over the next two seasons.
Still, Roseman was vindicated by his belief that Bradford was an asset even after the team gave up a boatload of picks to draft Carson Wentz. Roseman is not afraid to make big splashes, big mistakes and big changes to the plan when the opportunity presents itself. The Eagles would have been crazy to pass on this offer after the Vikings called considering they have Wentz and Chase Daniel in place.
Vikings ownership: No one wants to say it, but the Vikings did not want to move into a beautiful new stadium with 16 games of Shaun Hill on tap. Bradford is not the fan favorite that Teddy Bridgewater is, but this gives the organization renewed life heading into the 2016 season, as Marc Sessler wrote in his column. It remains a team built to compete for titles on defense andAdrian Peterson. They have a proven quarterback tutor in Norv Turner. If he can’t get Bradford to finally fulfill his potential, no one will.
Pat Shurmur’s influence: Minnesota’s tight ends coach was Bradford’s head coach in St. Louis and his coordinator in Philly. Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes that Shurmur played a huge role in acquiring Bradford.
“The negotiations began Friday night and intensified — but only because of new tight ends coach Pat Shurmur, who coached Bradford in St. Louis and in Philadelphia,” Craig wrote. “It was Shurmur who convinced the organization that Bradford had the intelligence and the work ethic to learn Norv Turner’s offense quickly.”
Eagles fans: Sure, this trade ruins all the painstaking work that Eagles fans did this offseason trying to convince themselves to root for Bradford. But isn’t this trade a relief?
A year spent rooting for a short-term starting quarterback is a wasted year as a fan. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports that Wentz will be the starter once he’s healthy, and that could be as early as Week 1. Then again, another winner here would be …
Chase Daniel Nation: Wentz is going to start when healthy. It’s anyone’s guess how long he’ll be healthy after exiting his only preseason appearance following some massive hits. The path to Daniel starting just got clearer and we’ve long believed he could be a solid option if given the chance.
The Cleveland Browns: That first-round pick they own from Philadelphia is more likely to be near the top of the draft now. I still wouldn’t rule out the Eagles competing or even winning a diluted NFC East because their front seven on defense has a chance to be that good. But this does not help Philadelphia’s chances. All offseason, we read that Bradford was superior in practice to Wentz and Daniel. The same was true in the preseason. The Eagles are trading the guy they decided would give them the best chance to win.
Teddy Bridgewater optimism: We hope this deal doesn’t say too much about Bridgewater’s ability to recover from his devastating knee injury. The reality is that no one knows how Bridgewater’s rehabilitation will go at this stage, and the Vikings have to plan for every scenario. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said that Bradford’s contract, which runs through 2017, played a big role.
“That played a huge part in this deal,” Spielman said. “We have Bradford under contract for 2 years.”
In short: This might not be just a short-term fix.
Jordan Matthews fantasy owners: This is one strange Eagles receiver group after Matthews, with Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham and Josh Huff in the mix. The Birds will try to win with running and defense. It’s hard to see them airing the ball out whether Wentz or Daniel is at quarterback.
NFL analysts: Thousands of articles were written after the Bridgewater injury and a Bradford trade wasn’t mentioned seriously in any of them. This deal caught the insiders flat footed. (Those same insiders should be worried about competition from Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who alluded to the trade on Twitter before it ever came out. He deleted the tweet.)
The NFC wild card field: Green Bay should be seen as the favorite in the NFC North. But the acquisition of Bradford at least gives the Vikings a better chance to push for a playoff spot.