MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Make no mistake; the Sam Bradford trade is Minnesota Vikings general Rick Spielman pushing all his chips to the middle of the table.
If it works and gets the Vikings where they believe they can go, it’s worth every bit of the high price they’re paying.
If it doesn’t? Oh boy, will it be a blunder by Spielman.
This is a huge gamble. The Vikings are assigning first-round value and then some for an injury-prone guy who’s had a largely disappointing NFL career. But Bradford was the best of some not-great options. It’s not like they were going to swing a deal for Russell Wilson or Drew Brees.
This indicates two things about the Vikings’ thinking: They clearly believe this year is their shot to make a run at a Super Bowl — their defense could be one of the best in the league and they have the best running back in the league. And he isn’t getting any younger.
And they’re clearly concerned Teddy Bridgewater might not be ready at the beginning of next year. The damage to his knee is extensive, and even if he is ready 11 months from now — certainly no sure thing — he might not be the same player. Bradford’s got two years on his deal, so he bridges that gap.
He might not be a huge upgrade over Shaun Hill, but with the rest of the team so solid, maybe a small upgrade is all they would need. And when you believe you’ve got a shot to make a run, it makes sense to do everything you can to give it your best shot.
Other teams knew this — so they knew they could command a high price. There was no way the Vikings were getting a top-flight QB, and no way they were getting a Bradford-flight QB without overpaying.
Besides the first-round pick, that fourth rounder becomes a third rounder if they reach the NFC title game and a second rounder if they win the Super Bowl. But if this move gets the Vikings a Super Bowl, it’s worth every bit of the cost.
There’s no price too high to win it all.