Sam Bradford has signed a one-year, $20-million dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals.
The saga that is Bradford’s career has now landed in Arizona. It’s not your typical drama-ridden journey that you can see athletes have – with multiple arrests and or drug suspensions. Bradford’s story is much different.
After having one of the best college careers in recent memory, the St. Louis Rams took the Sooner with the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Bradford signed the most lucrative rookie contract in NFL history with 50-million guaranteed dollars. In just five seasons, he missed 31 games and suddenly, the player who was supposed to be the franchise savior was shipped to Philadelphia. Nick Foles came the other way, and we know how that turned out.
Bradford’s 2015 season as an Eagle was mediocre at best, so Philly traded up – as part of a succession of moves – with Cleveland and took Carson Wentz with the second overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. Bradford was supposed to be the stopgap before Wentz would take over, but when Teddy Bridgewater suffered one of the worst injuries you’ll see for Minnesota, Bradford was traded and quickly leading a talented Minnesota team.
“Sleeves” as he is known had a pretty impressive 2016 season as he broke the NFL record for completion percentage (71.6%). (Note: this record was immediately beaten last year by Drew Brees (72.0%)). But once again, in 2017, Bradford suffered an injury in week one that held him out long enough for Case Keenum to win the starting job.
Now, with Kirk Cousins in Minnesota, Sam Bradford’s time is officially over as a Viking. He’s now on to warmer weather in Arizona, so what does this mean for Bradford, David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and J.J. Nelson?
Sam Bradford, QB ARI
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Unfortunately for Bradford, I fear he is just going to be seen as a bridge quarterback. Arizona holds the 15th pick in the NFL Draft in April and could easily be in play for taking a signal-caller (even if they have to trade up for one).
In even worse news, he’s joining a team that has one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. For a player as fragile as Bradford is, all I can say is “yikes”. Add in the fact that an aging Larry Fitzgerald is the only viable wide receiver and you can see why I don’t think Arizona is a great fit for Sam.
With his ADP already being so low, I don’t expect it to shift downward since he does seem to have a starting job, but his long-term hopes are still pretty bleak. If you’re rostering him, this signing is good news in that he will be able to produce, but I fear those numbers will be marginal at best.
David Johnson, RB ARI
DJ is going to do his thing. It doesn’t really matter who’s under center. But if Bradford can stay healthy and provide a somewhat formidable passing attack, that’s good news for Johnson owners, even if it’s minor.
With the quarterback situation still not resolved as we look to the future, don’t expect his ADP to change much at all. As we all know, 2018 will be a big year for Johnson coming back from a brutal wrist injury that held him out of 15 games in 2017.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR ARI
I think Larry Fitzgerald comes out as the winner from this signing. Even though he’s been remarkably consistent no matter who’s throwing him the ball, Bradford is far better than the mess of bad quarterbacks Arizona employed in 2017.
Once again Fitzgerald should be in line for 1,000 yards and 100 receptions. Even if it’s a slight bump, this signing should boost the future Hall-of-Famer’s stock.
J.J. Nelson, WR ARI
John Brown is off to Baltimore, and Jaron Brown is still unsigned. So as of now, J.J. Nelson appears to be Arizona’s clear number two. This likely won’t last long. No matter what ends up happening in free agency, I expect the Cardinals to spend an early draft pick at WR.
Nelson has been a somewhat intriguing deep threat in Arizona for three years now, but I don’t know if he’s proven he’ll be anything more than that. Expect Nelson’s ADP to stay very much the same, unless Arizona is unable to add another reliable receiver.