PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Sam Bradford got the trade he wanted months ago – just eight days before the season opener.
The Philadelphia Eagles sent Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday for a pair of draft picks. Bradford replaces Teddy Bridgewater, who went down for the season after suffering a gruesome knee injury this week.
The Eagles receive a first-round pick in 2017 and a fourth-rounder in 2018.
“This was not part of the blueprint, but we have to take advantage of opportunities that are presented to us,” Eagles personnel boss Howie Roseman said. “We did not go into this wanting to trade Sam Bradford, but after the offer they made, we felt this was the best move for our football team.”
Bradford’s departure doesn’t automatically mean backup Chase Daniel will start the season as Philadelphia’s No. 1 quarterback. Carson Wentz, selected with the No. 2 overall pick, missed the last three preseason games after breaking his ribs. However, Roseman said coach Doug Pederson would decide who starts against the Browns on Sept. 11.
Pederson wasn’t in the building Saturday because his father, Gordon, passed away Friday night.
The Eagles released McLeod Bethel-Thompson, so they don’t have a third quarterback on the roster.
The Vikings will be turning to Bradford over veteran Shaun Hill once Bradford learns yet another new system. Bradford will now play for his sixth offensive coordinator – Norv Turner – in seven seasons. A former 2010 No. 1 overall pick, Bradford was acquired from St. Louis by Chip Kelly last year. He had a strong second half in Kelly’s up-tempo offense.
Bradford passed up a chance to test free agency and signed a two-year, $36 million with $22 million guaranteed in March. He regretted the decision after the Eagles traded several draft picks to select Wentz, and Bradford skipped some voluntary workouts in the offseason. The Eagles discussed a trade with the Broncos, but couldn’t agree to a deal, so Bradford returned and played well in the preseason in Pederson’s offense.
Bradford reunites with Pat Shurmur, Minnesota’s tight ends coach. Shurmur was Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator in 2015 and Bradford’s OC his rookie season with the Rams.
The Vikings won the NFC North last season and acquiring Bradford means they clearly think they will compete again. Bradford also gives them insurance for 2017 because he’s under contract and it’s uncertain when Bridgewater will return.
The Eagles were 7-9 last season and would’ve been in rebuilding mode in a division other than the weak NFC East. Trading Bradford allows them to develop Wentz sooner than expected.
“Balancing today and the future, it was the right move for us,” Roseman said.
Before making the move, the Eagles didn’t have a first-round pick for 2017 when the draft will be held in Philadelphia. They traded the pick and others to move up to No. 2 to select Wentz.