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The future of the Vikings’ quarterback situation

“The Future of the Vikings” is a series of articles looking at everything from strengths and weaknesses to draft and free agent options to schemes and trends heading into 2017 and beyond. For Part 1, we begin with the quarterbacks…

EDITORS NOTE: 1500ESPN originally published this article on January 1, but with a report from Bleacher Report that Teddy Bridgewater could miss the entire 2017 regular season, we thought it was worth re-publishing. Thanks for reading!

The Sam Bradford conundrum

Sam Bradford will very likely be the 2017 opening day starter for the Minnesota Vikings. There have been no updates from the team on the status of Teddy Bridgewater’s knee, but all indications are that his severe injury will not be healed and in game shape by next September. So the picture is clear for the start of next season. Looking any farther down the road at the Vikings’ quarterback situation, however, is where things get pretty foggy.

After four games, Bradford was declared the league’s MVP by long-time NFL writer Peter King and it wasn’t a crazy thought. Bradford went 4-0, threw six touchdowns, zero interceptions and averaged 7.9 yards per attempt despite learning the Vikings’ offense on the fly. At that point, it appeared he had reached the ceiling that the St. Louis Rams had once hoped he would see.

But as the season wore on, Bradford became harder and harder to evaluate as The Franchise.

The Vikings’ offensive line was not great to begin the season, but losing both starting tackles for the year, then the backup tackle and seeing other injuries to both guards and the center at different times throughout the year, made for one of the least effective in the NFL. Severe struggles up front not only put Bradford under constant duress, it forced the Vikings to fundamentally alter the fabric of their offense.

Coming out of the bye week, the Vikings attempted to implement more of Norv Turner’s classic deep developing routes and seven-step drops. The result was complete disaster. In back-to-back losses, Bradford was sacked 11 times and posted a 79.6 rating. There was no time to go through progressions, as you can see on plays like this:

After Turner resigned, interim offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur stuck with his bread and butter, the West Coast Offense, which is known for negating opponents’ pass rush by getting the ball out quickly.

The change led to some very nice statistics. Bradford has a chance to set the all-time completion percentage record in Week 17 and has the seventh best rating in the NFL. Of course, he is also 19th in yards per attempt, third worst yards per attempt on third down in the league at 5.9 YPA, 20th in ESPN’s QBR stat and two of his four interceptions came on potential game-winning drives.

Was the lack of efficiency, struggles on third downs and poor red zone scoring completely caused by the offensive line’s ineptitude?

There is no question that Bradford was affected by pass rushers running free off the edges, but his aversion to risk began to shine through and defenses caught on to some of his shortcomings in the Vikings’ offense.

One of those weaknesses was deciding where to go with the ball pre-snap and sticking with it regardless of how the play progressed. Here is one example on a third and long against Detroit. Bradford is not pressured at all and has plenty of time to look downfield, but he was baited into a pass to Jerick McKinnon out of the backfield.

Bradford failed to average over 7.0 per attempt in seven of nine games after the bye week, which forced the Vikings’ defense to keep them in game after game. This issue is not solely on the offensive line – this is Bradford’s history as a professional quarterback. The 29-year-old quarterback averages 6.6 yards per attempt for his career, the third lowest mark of any active quarterback.

So here is where we land: For 2017, the Vikings know they will have a competent quarterback under center who might be able to improve with a better offensive line. Did Bradford do enough to convince the world he should be under center hereafter?

Sam Bradford’s contract, Bridgewater’s knee

Even mediocre quarterbacks get paid a lot of money. Kansas City’s Alex Smith is making $17 million. Jay Cutler pulled in $18 million in 2016, so did Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor. With Bradford heading into the final year of his contract, the Vikings will have to make a decision: Give him a contract extension with an average annual salary topping $20 million this offseason or wait to see how Bridgewater’s knee progresses and risk losing Bradford.

If the Vikings do not choose Option A and it turns out that Bridgewater cannot return to the starter’s role, they could be left out in the cold at quarterback after 2017. If they do sign Bradford to a long-term deal and Bridgewater returns, they might end up having to trade a younger quarterback who has the potential to be better.

Bradford’s agent will be pushing for a commitment this offseason with his client coming off his best career season and one in which he stayed completely healthy. There could be middle ground. Taylor signed an extension with the Bills before this season that gave him a significant boost in pay but also allowed the Bills to get out of their long-term commitment if they decided Taylor wasn’t their franchise quarterback. For Bradford, it might be a win-win to sign a deal with a team option. Then if Bridgewater comes back, the Vikings can move on and Bradford can get a monster contract with another QB-void team.

If Bridgewater does come back healthy, there is another important question to answer: Is Bradford better than Bridgewater?

Here’s how they compare on the stat sheet:

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-3-17-27-pm

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-3-15-26-pm

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-3-16-09-pm

 

There are a lot of similarities. Both have high completion percentages and neither puts up huge touchdown stats or high yards per attempt marks.

If we split up by depth of target, it’s noticeable that Bridgewater completed a terrific percentage of 11-20 yard throws and averaged over 11 yards per throw, whereas Bradford was much more successful throwing the ball deep down the field.

Bradford:

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-3-21-29-pm

Bridgewater:

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-3-21-55-pm

The differences are in the legs and ceiling. Bridgewater has shown the ability to escape the pocket and make plays on the move. In this example, he moves away from the rush, then directs tight end Kyle Rudolph into an open spot in the defense and completes a first down pass. These plays are routine for Bridgewater and rare for Bradford.

Of course, it always comes back to Bridgewater’s health. He will only bring value with his legs if his knee is 100%.

And then there is the question of whether Bridgewater could grow without Adrian Peterson in the backfield. He did benefit from play-action with Peterson, but the Vikings’ future Hall of Fame running back also ran more than any other back in the NFL in 2015. Could Bridgewater throw for 4,000 yards and develop his deep passing game if he is the centerpiece of the offense – as Bradford has been this year – rather than the running back?

Another factor that cannot be ignored about Bridgewater is the team’s admiration for him as a leader. That is not to say that Bradford struggled in this area. In fact, Bradford proved many people wrong by showing exceptional toughness throughout the year. But receiver Stefon Diggs recently wrote an article in the Player’s Tribune that talked about having Bridgewater around the team.

Diggs wrote:

“You might not see him on the field on Sundays, but Teddy’s impact on this team is still felt every week. He texts me, and tries to help me play my best from a QB’s point of view. He feeds me that inside look, that inside scoop. He gives me positive energy on a daily basis. We play Madden a lot, too … and he usually wins. I’ll cop to that.

I know it’s hard for Teddy, because if you live for ball like we do, nothing can replace the feeling you get when you hear that whistle blow at the beginning of a game.”

You have to wonder how it would go over in the locker room if the Vikings signed Bradford long term and traded Bridgewater.

How it will eventually play out, though, is anybody’s guess.

Report: Bridgewater likely to miss entire 2017 season

The backup

Shaun Hill was a helluva backup/fill-in starter, but it’s probably time for him to call it a career. Assuming Bridgewater isn’t ready to start the season, the Vikings could open the year with Taylor Heinicke as the second stringer.

Heinicke tossed 132 touchdowns during his four years at Old Dominion and once threw for 730 yards in a single game. Seriously. The undrafted free agent also ran a 4.62 40-yard dash at the combine, but was undrafted for a reason. He is only 6-foot-1 and is not thought to have NFL arm strength. The Vikings have liked Heinicke for a long time, so put him under the ya-never-know category. If he can turn into a reliable backup, it would be a good find for Minnesota.

If they don’t feel Heinicke is ready to be a backup, the Vikings could either try to sign a younger free agent like Geno Smith, EJ Manuel or Matt Barkley that might have some – emphasis on some – potential or add a career backup like Matt Schaub or Matt Cassel.

Drafting another quarterback in the late rounds is an option, but the Vikings might be better served spending those picks on long shots and special teams players. It is very unlikely that they would draft one before the fourth or fifth round.

  • Mike Link

    This is really complicated and whatever the VIkings decide can be described as a genius move or really dumb depending on Bridgewater’s health and future durability. Sometimes when injuries happen it has a cascade affect and future years are impacted by more injuries. I would hate to be the one to make the call, but I would extend Bradford.

  • CT Ronn

    This is the first time I’ve heard anyone say Heinicke might lack NFL arm strength. I’ve thought just the opposite. In previous preseasons, he showed no difficulty throwing a deep out. Hmm.

  • Kodiak72

    It’s time to start over at QB. Teddy will never recover from that injury. Bradford is a loser plain and simple 8 years and 0 seasons with a winning record. You can blame his teammates all you want but at some point it is on him. Bradford has poor pocket awareness and 0 movement skills in the pocket. Watch the better QBs they are always moving in the pocket to avoid pressure and buy time. The Vikings might have a terrible offense line but so does 20 other teams. It is a league wide problem caused by the CBA limitation on padded practice and up tempo spread offense in college. The Vikings won’t magically fix this offensive line in 1 offseason. It is a horrible draft class at OT and FA is just as bad. Bradford will never lead a team anywhere he can never overcome adversity. Second things go bad it is over with Bradford at QB.

    • David Prestin

      Yeah, he only had a good season this year because team didn’t have any adversity.

      • Kodiak72

        What good year? This was a 11 win division title winning team to at best 8-8. Just because he padded his stats on 1 yard passes is not a good season. 3rd and anything 1 yard pass. 8 failed seasons in a row.

        • Madderton

          11 in team with bad QB play and they won by running the ball.

          2015 there was zero running game.

          • MC

            7-7 without a perennial defense or peterson in 2014. Charles Johnson was the offense that year, teddys rookie season. He put more points on the falcons game one then Bradford on anyone this year

    • Gordon Guffey

      Kodiak72 those years were with a Ram’s team that still are not winners ~ All but 2 of Bradford’s seasons were spent playing for a HC who was fired after this year after setting the NFL record for loses by a HC ~ And half of those where when he was the HC of Titans ~

      So yes we can blame those around him ~ What Rams games were you watching ~ ???? You do know Bradford played well last year for the Eagles and the only reason he wasn’t starting for the Eagles was because the Vikings offered a 1st in 2017 and a 4th in 2018 ~ Yes the Eagles new HC wanted to draft his own QB but the plan was for him to set this year ~ Nothing new there ~ New HC do this all of the time ~

      I’m not getting into how bad the OL is because if you had been watching they have improved in protecting Bradford sense Norv left ~ When Norv left they couldn’t protect him so Sam could even drop back and throw for 10+ yards ~ Thats not been the case over the last 5 or 6 weeks ~

      I dont understand your hate for Bradford but I will say you need to take another look at what the Vikings have done sense Norv left and how the OL has slowly improved in that time ~ Bradford has also improved now that he is getting time to throw ~

      Remember this team is still feeling the Norv Turner Effect and that Pat Shurmur want be able to install his full offense until the offseason when mid camps start ~ Yes Shurmur has started installing his scheme this year and thats why we saw Bradford throwing deep balls after game 10 ~ Not in the first 8 games that Norv was the OC ~ However slowly but surely the offense did start to show improvement ~ Pat Shurmur hasn’t even had a chance to really show what he can do for the Vikings when his game plan is full loaded with his play and the OL is running his full blocking scheme ~

      • Kodiak72

        Where was that improved offense in the second lion game colts game and second Greenbay game with the season on the line. Sorry 2-10 during the playoff push is not acceptable and that fell on the offense doing nothing except during garbage time last week or this week against a team who mailed it in. At some point Bradford needed to step up in the last 8 seasons and win some games. If Philly was such a bad situation why did he resign? Could went to another team but would face pressure of a playoff push like this year.

        • Gordon Guffey

          I didn’t say every game but in every game ~ You said Bradford needs to step up and win some games ~ There are 10 other players on offense and 11 other players on defense ~ Its not all up to Bradford ~ But if you look at the last 6 games Bradford has had more time to throw the ball down the field ~ I dont know what you expect when the team started changing the offensive shceme at the mid season point ~ ????

          As for the Eagles not resigning Bradford ~ They did last off season before they drafted a QB in round one ~ Thats why Bradford was signed for this season and next season also ~ Next year he is set to make 22 million if the Vikings dont give him a new contract ~

          22 million is not what you sign a so~so QB too ~ That’s dang good starter money ~ I believe Sam made 16 million this year as well ~

          But you know as well as I do this is not a one man game ~ If it were than AP would have won us a couple of Super Bowls in his early years when he was putting up 1600+ yards season ~ Yet the Vikings were doing little ~ Thats what a one man team will do for you ~ Its not all up tp Bradford ~ Not in the mess Norv left the offense in at mid season ~

          • Kodiak72

            What games since the 5-0 start did the offense look good besides Jacksonville and today? None is the answer so 11bad to horric offensive performances in 13 games. I know it is never poor Sam’s fault always bad teams right. Sam should left Philly if he cared about winning but he wanted to be paid. Next time he steps up and over comes adversity be the first in his 8 going on 9 year career.

          • Matt Rowe

            I’m with you. He’s not a winner, never will be. He’s on his third team, and if Philly thought he gave them a good chance to win they wouldn’t have made a huge trade to bring in a 1AA QB.
            Spielman is a fool though, who obviously can’t pick QBs. It’s true that Norv liked Teddy but Spielman made the pick and is ultimately responsible for that. Since he’s a fool, he’ll give Bradford a big $$ contact and we’ll have 8-8, 7-9 records for 5 more years.

          • Jordan Musser

            Did you guys by chance watch the Lions-Packers game? I didn’t catch much of it but i did turn it on with about 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Green Bay had the ball and was driving. Do you know what stat they showed on the screen? The Packers had 3 OL that were ranked #1 in pass protection at their positions by PFF. We don’t even have 1 OL in the top 30.

            I am still on the fence with Bradford as are you. It is clear as day when watching a game he lacks pocket elusiveness. He checked the ball down way too much this season. Was that a product of the bad OL or was it all on Sam? People want to say how bad STL was when he was there but they did have a future HOF Running Back in Steven Jackson and then Drafted supposedly a stud in Gurley. The problem here in St Louis is that Jeff Fisher was the coach. The all time losing record holder for all of the NFL coaches Jeff Fisher. The year before Bradford was drafted the team went 1-15. The team then went 7-9 in Bradfords first season and he was OROY. He then was injured in his second season and the team went 2-14. Then from there they were mostly a .500 winning percentage team.

            Also to Bradford’s defense he has had a different system nearly every year he has been in the league. There is no franchise QB in todays game that would do much better with those circumstances. Could you imagine Rodgers, Brady or Wilson learning a new offensive scheme every year?

            Time will tell but i’d be a gambling man and ride Bradford’s 1 year deal. Have him prove to me he can stay healthy another season before i pay any money. Also if we do resign Shurmur as OC this will give us enough Data on Bradford to see how he can do in a system for 2 straight seasons and a better overall team then those Rams were.

            All in all every year you either win some close games or you lose them. It defines an NFL teams chances of being in the playoffs or outside. Despite the injuries and off field issues we were a couple of bounces away in both lions game and the cowboys game from being an 11 win team which again would have made us the division champs.

          • Matt Rowe

            Valid points. I’m against the long term deal this off season, as you said he needs to play out this deal first.
            I don’t trust Spielman to make the right choice, though. My fear is that he signs long term for big $$ prior to camp. He showed he’s mostly replacement level but has a great arm. You need more than pure arm talent to succeed. Even with the lines in GB and Dallas, those QBs have to deal with chaos in the pocket at times. With the athletic pass rushers if today’s league, there aren’t consistently clean pockets anywhere. Until Sam consistent eludes pressure, he’s replacement level at best. He’s 30, so I doubt he changes much at this point.

          • Joey Klein

            Teddy in my opinion still is a good pick

          • Gordon Guffey

            Not once did I say they look like the Packers OK ~ LOL JK ~
            So poor Sam was the whole problem ~ You got another giggle ~
            So I guess you think you could name 10 other pro bowl QB’s that could have come in and play lights out football behind the Vikings OL ~ LOL
            Sam got paid by the Eagles because he is a very good to great QB when he has the right people around him ~ Just look what happen the A. Rogers last year after he lost Nelson ~ Do you know how many games skill players missed for the Vikings offense this year ~ Diggs hasn’t been healthy sense before the Cowboys game ~ But most of the other skill players have missed games as well ~ Add that to the OL and no one is going to play any better than Sam did and you know it ~
            Again if you look at the body of work from the Vikings offense going back to the day Norv Turner became the OC its been bad and this was before all the injuries to the OL and with AP leading the NFL in rushing last season ~
            And one last time I will say this ~ You cant change a complete offense in the middle of the season ~ However there were marked improvement ~
            You seem to forget as bas as you say Sam has played he almost had two 1000 yard WR and he did have a TE that gained over 800 yards ~ What has been lacking is the running game~ And you know that to get a fact as well as I do ~
            It is what it is and it doesn’t matter how much you dont like it or you dont really have anyone to blame its not Bradford who was the big problem ~ And that is a fact ~ Now take a deep breath and relax while we see how the offseason unfolds ~

          • Kodiak72

            You do know the packers won a road playoff game last year? I cannot find a franchise QB who went 8 seasons with out 1 winning record. Bradford is not the whole problem but is not the solution. He and QBs like him are going extinct. A qb has to be able to move in the pocket to buy time. There is only a handful of teams with a good online the other 20 have similar issues to the Vikings. Including Seattle horrible offensive line made the playoffs.

          • Joey Klein

            No one has as bad of a oline situation as the Vikings do

          • Joey Klein

            Sam Bradford isn’t a bad qb, Great? No, but, above average?sure. First off sam is injury prone, second you say no one would play better than sam did behind that oline, ( qbs that can make time can maybe Rodgers, McNabb, vick, Cunningham, or culpepper ) I agree that the oline is the main problem thats why I say you would get rid of Sam so you can get more offensive lineman in free agency

          • Gordon Guffey

            Get rid of Sam and who is going to play QB ~ ???

          • Gordon Guffey

            Any QB can become injury prone playing behind the OL’s he has had in front of him But the way Bradford has been healthy the last two seasons ~

          • Gordon Guffey

            More like get rid of AP so you can get some FA help for the OL ~ I dont understand your thinking unless you believe the Vikings can find a super star QB who can be better on day one in the second round ~ ??? Is this what your thinking ~

          • Gordon Guffey

            Yeah look what happened to Rogers this past weekend ~ He got his butt handed to him ~ Injuries and lack of talent prove that no one QB can put a team on his back and carry the through the playoffs let alone the Super Bowl ~ Same goes for Big Ben ~ It takes 22+ players to get a team to the playoffs ~ There is no I in team and Rogers proved that to be true vs the Falcons ~

          • Joey Klein

            For more you mean it goes from 0.0000001 to 0.0000002 oh the offensive line is so good

          • Gordon Guffey

            ????? LOL

        • Gordon Guffey

          Thank you Kodiak you got it right ~ You said it fell on the offense ~ I’m not saying it doesn’t ~ But its the whole unit ~ Things have improved sense Shurmur took over as the OC ~ Remember this is still mostly Norv’s offense and its been the tweaking of Shurmur that has help improve the offense ~ The numbers show it ~ Its not as bad as it seems ~ If anything Zimmer is at fault for trusting Norv to be the HC of the offense ~ Sadly Norv stabbed him in the back or football had passed him but ~ He also look into replacing Mike Priefer for keeping Walsh ~ Hey I held onto the hope Walsh would turn it around ~ But I’m not his coach and Priefer keep him after the kicking tryouts that Zimmer missed because of his eye ~ Walsh cost this team close games in the 8 loses ~ They keep him from being a problem early ~ But he help kill this team ~ There are many thing to fix ~ However as you said it fell on the offense ~ The whole offense ~ Smiley face 🙂

          • Joey Klein

            Improved since shurmur took over 5-2 to 3-6 much improvement thanks pat

          • Gordon Guffey

            You really should read the local press more often seeing how thats the only thing we have to go ~ Almost everyone is taking Norv to woodshed ~ And if you follow it you will see that his son Scott was taking over more of the play calling and had a much bigger part in game planning ~ They have both been fired ((( Norv and Scott ))) or forced out ~ There is nothing left to say about how bad Norv was ~ The Vikings made that clear by replacing them ~

      • Joey Klein

        Why do you hate Norv Turner so much plus you say the team is so much better now the Norv is gone with Norv 5-2 with out 3-6 now which is better what happened is people realized how bad the Vikings o line is and started blitzing on those deep plays and Sam Bradford was getting killed then in pat shurmers west coast offense Sam couldn’t run well and got sacked then just started to panic a throw it Super short even on 3rd and long which if your a Vikings fan was the most annoying thing ever in the end it all comes down to offensive line. All you need is a good offensive line and okay QB and your set to make the playoffs every year that’s how the Cowboys did it Dakota Prescott all ways has all the time he need and zeke all ways gets huge holes same with the raiders and steelers but to a lesser extent.

        • Gordon Guffey

          First off the 5~0 start was due to the defense as Bradford was still adjusting to Norv’s version of Chilly’s Kick A$$ Offense 2.0 ~ run~run~pass on 3rd and long~punt for the most part ~

          Lets not forget its was next to impossible for Shurmur to install his offense at the mid season point ~ Sure he changed up the play calling to try and keep Bradford upright and healthy ~ But the offensive scheme remained Norv’s for the most part ~ Same goes for the blocking scheme as well though we did see Bradford taking more shots down the field after game 9 or 10 game once OL coach Sparano had a chance to tweak some of the blocking Norv refused to allow ~ Still its going to take a full offseason for the two to install Shurmur offense and his blocking scheme ~ In the last two games with backups of the backups at both OT spots and Easton starting at Center because Boone and Fusco both missed a games each with Berger filling in for one than then the other the running game started to improve as McKinnon averaged over 4 yards a carry vs the Packer and 5.6
          ((( if my memory is wroking right today LOL ))) vs the Bears ~ I believe Asiata improved to around 3.5 yards a carry in those last two games ~ Doesn’t sound like much but behind their OL with a mid season OC change its a good sign IMHO ~

          I hate that Norv was never the OC that the media made him out to be ~ I have no hate for the man himself ~ I knew little about Norv outside of he had been fired from every job but the Cowboys ~ But many made him out to be a offensive god ~ A QB whisper they said even here on ESPN1500 ~ He sucked at play calling and game planing by NFL standards in my book ~ Maybe sucked by college standards as well ~

          Well thats how I saw the way he ran the offense ~

          And the way he put player like Patterson and Wright in his doghouse ~ Just refused to use them and that was proven to be the case as Patterson really came on as a WR once Norv left ~ I’m still not sure what happen with Wright because he played well enough to get a 4 year deal in 2014 ~

          Then there is this tidbit from Ben Goessling today and I’m sure this was part of the reason Norv got mad and quit ~ Norv was the only one talking up Teddy’s pro day on NFL Network after everyone else was talking about how bad it was ~ I had no problem with the drafting of Teddy ~ But I’m sure it u[set Norv because of this ~
          http://www.espn.com/blog/minnesota-vikings/post/_/id/21788/sources-vikings-fire-quarterbacks-coach-scott-turner
          The younger Turner was instrumental in the drafting and development of Teddy Bridgewater, whom the Vikings selected 32nd overall in 2014.

          Then there were the two games after the bye when Norv went back to the 5 and 7 step drops knowing the OL couldn’t protect Bradford ~ It was almost like he was trying to get Bradford hurt ~ Then after the Bears lose he waited until Wednesday to walk away leaving Shurmur no time to game plan in a close loses to the Loins ~

          Bradford runs better than most thought ~ He had one run of at least 20 yard and a few other for 10 or more ~ When he came to the Vikings everything I read was he was unable to do that any more ~ He fooled me ~ He also started to roll out much more after Norv left ~

          Sorry for going on so ~ But I could go on even more ~ But I believe that is more than enough and thats just going off this year alone ~ Norv was the one bad move Zimmer made when he was hired as the HC IMHO ~ He trusted a old friend who stabbed him in the back for basically making Norv the HC of the offense while Zimmer installed his defense ~ IMHO that was even hindered this year by Zimmer having to focus on the offensive problems to the point he had no chose to to force Norv out the door ~ And I dont blame Zimmer for hiring Norv because Norv should have been a great OC with all of the control Zimmer gave him ~

          Hope that explains my feeling toward Norv Turner ~ Smile face 🙂

          • Joey Klein

            Norv didn’t have much trouble getting the 2015 Vikings to a 11-5 record

          • Gordon Guffey

            It wasn’t Norv who got the Vikings to 11~5 it was the defense ~ Have you been reading any of the local press sense the season ended ~ ???

    • GordonGekko

      All true.

    • Joey Klein

      First you are super pessimistic second the Vikings definitely had the worst offensive line by a lot third teddy will likely recover from his injury a couple games into next season if not sooner ( people said Drew brees would never play again in 2005 and the chargers panicked and traded him now look where he is ) forth the draft class of o lineman may be bad but there are some nice ones in free agency

      • Kodiak72

        Seattle has a worse line they can’t protect Wilson.

        Bad run blocking 17th pass blocking. Watch more football 2/3 of the NFL has oline issue not just poor old Sam.

        http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol

        • Joey Klein

          Seattle has a worse offensive line, LOL your kidding right?

        • Joey Klein

          And I watch every game

  • Kyle Marlow

    What would be wrong drafting a QB in the fourth or fifth TD? If we have good scouts no reason we couldn’t find a good backup then. Hell could even find a starter ever heard of Dak or Mr. Brady? By your logic those teams should of not wasted picks on qbs.

    • Joey Klein

      I’d rather draft HB donnel pumphry who projected to go in the 4th or 5th round but I think is one the most talented runningbacks in the draft, but drafting a QB in the 5th or 6th round couldn’t hurt much

  • David Prestin

    Bradford will start next 5 yrs at least. New oline and things will really open up for this offense.

    • Joey Klein

      WTF Bradford can’t play 5 more years he’ll be like 43

      • David Prestin

        You mean 34 right?

        • Marcus

          LOL at this joey character does anything this guy say make any sense?

          • Joey Klein

            Bradford has never been a consistent QB and is one the most injury prone qbs in the nfl and to build a better oline we need more cap space which we don’t have because we have to starting qbs

          • PurpleFaithful

            Lol. Bridgewater rookie deal too much? Or the deal bradford is already signed to?

    • GordonGekko

      What are you smoking? Bradford is a China doll stiff that played one full season in his career.

  • Keith Larson

    I’m fine with Bradford as the 2017 starter, Heinicke #2 and Teddy #3 while he heals. Having multiple starting caliber quarterbacks is not a bad thing. I think our real decision will be after 2017.

  • Madderton

    There really aren’t too many decisions to be made on this topic. Bradford is the starter next season. I hope Teddy get healthy but he wasn’t very good to start with. In any scenario, I would keep drafting a QB that could be a top 10 guy.

    • Joey Klein

      Did you not watch preseason Vs San Dieago teddy looked great, and spending countless first round picks on qbs is just a recipe for disaster

      • Madderton

        Keyword “preseason”

        Who cares about preseason? That’s not a predictor of what is to come in the regular season when teams try and play their starters.

  • Topgunn

    Just a house keeping note for Gordon Guffy. Gordon, the word you are looking for is “since” not “sense.” Sorry to be a spelling and grammar nazi but it’s been bugging the heck out of me. Look, good QB’s are always scarce. Foolish team trade guys like Drew Brees or Doug Flutie (Chargers). Bradford will be our QB next year year and we will sign him to a fairly nice extension. At this point, we must keep both Sam and Teddy. Somebody ALWAYS needs a QB. Eventually, something will have to give and either Sam or Teddy will get traded. We must rebuild the O-Line and get a young RB to be our future workhorse. We also must draft a DT or a LB’er to toughen up our run defense. Howard torched our run-D again and I would have expected the game plan to flat out take him away and force Barkley to beat us. Instead, we let the Bears hang around a lot longer because Howard was literally carving our defense up.

    • Joey Klein

      When you mentioned Drew brees it’s more like teddy, a young guy showed some promise but gets hurt every one panics and he gets traded and we all know how that turned out

      • Joey Klein

        Also brees wasn’t traded

        • PurpleFaithful

          Bridgewater hasn’t played as well as bradford, plys bridgewater is out for 2017 it was announced. So, wtf are you blathering about? You think phillip rivers is a bust? You think brees would have won a superbowl in san diego without payton? Without bradford next year, vikings will have zero starting caliber quarterbacks, not two.

    • Joey Klein

      Also we can’t build o line and keep bradford we would have no cap space

      • Marcus

        Without APs $18million we would have $41million in free cap space

  • Kodiak72

    Hard to win games when the QB refuses to do anything but dink and dunk. Any set back kills drives.

    In setting the NFL’s single-season record for completion percentage Sunday, Sam Bradford’s average pass traveled 6.1 yards downfield vs. the Bears, which was right in-line with his 6.2 average for the season. His 6.2 average is the NFL’s second-lowest in the last 10 seasons. (ESPN Stats & Info)

  • Todd Jordan

    Cast your lot with Bradford simply based on his down field production. Spend money amd draft on o-line.

    • Joey Klein

      There’s no money left if you keep bradford

      • Daniel F. Tschida

        How do you figure? If you extend Bradford to reduce his per season cap hit, cut AP because he’s 32 and his performance does not justify $18 million/season (adding cap space), do not resign Kalil ($11 million against the cap in 2016), and consider cutting Fusco ($3.5 million) that frees up money to spend in free agency. Obviously LT and RG would have to be addressed thru a combo of free agency and the draft – which is fine.

        The real consideration is: what do you do if you DON’T keep Bradford? Who’s your QB then? Teddy is unlikely to be ready by training camp (if ever). Heinicke is unproven. What’s your plan if Bradford isn’t the guy?

        • Joey Klein

          Teddy will be back your panicking like the chargers and dolphins did with Drew brees we’re just lucky teddy’s not in a contract year or soon we’d watch him put up huge numbers on another team. And no a can’t grantee he’ll be back but you can’t say he won’t

          • Daniel F. Tschida

            When exactly did Drew Brees play for the Dolphins?

        • Topgunn

          Daniel, good points. Of all the comments on here I agree with yours. Good points made on both sides, but I agree with you. Cutting Peterson and Kalil and Fusco gives us a certain amount of flexibility to address the O-Line in FA this year. As was pointed out by Keith Larson, the REAL decision is AFTER 2017.

      • Gordon Guffey

        The Vikings will be 43 million under the cap after they do away with AP’s contract ~

  • Daniel F. Tschida

    Starting caliber QBs are tough to come by in the NFL as evidenced by the fact that we’ve had to roll with Tarvaris Jackson, Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, Josh Freeman (cold shiver), Gus Frerotte, Brooks Bollinger, Kelly Holcomb, Joe Webb, and “over-the-hill” Donovan McNabb over the past decade. Potentially having TWO starting-caliber QBs is a dilemma that I welcome.

    Given the horrific nature of Bridgewater’s knee injury I think you have to roll with the assumption that Bradford is our guy for now and for the foreseeable future so I would absolutely extend his contract. And that’s fine. He’s still fairly young, has a good arm, a quick release, is very accurate, and throws a nice deep ball (assuming our offensive line could give him enough time to set up a deep ball). I have no problems with his play and, frankly, to do what he did this season (e.g. traded to the team just days before the season opener….learning a whole new offensive scheme….losing his starting RB, LT, and RT…..then losing his offensive coordinator) is remarkable. I would be very happy to continue with him as our starting QB.

    Now as far as Bridgewater goes….I still think the world of him too. He showed so much promise in pre-season I really thought this would going to be his break-out year. Unfortunately, until we’re shown otherwise, we just don’t know what his future holds. I would be as happy as any Vikings fan if he’s able to make it back from this injury. Again, we just don’t know so that’s going to have to play itself out. If he does make it back, then we have a nice dilemma. I mean, wouldn’t you rather deal with the problem of having 2 starting caliber QBs than none? I sure would. And if that happens (and for Teddy’s sake, I sure hope it does) then we’ll just have to see which one of the QBs earns the right to captain the team. I’m very confident that we could move either QB for a very high draft picks because, as I’ve stated, starting QBs are hard to find.

    As for Heinicke, in his small sample size he’s looked good to me! I’d much prefer to roll with him as our backup QB than some of the other cast-offs on the market. He has familiarity with the team should not be ignored.

    I’m optimistic for 2017 (provided that we fix the offensive line)! GO VIKES!

    • Joey Klein

      The only thing with keeping Bradford is the capital space he takes up and with more available cap space we can build our O line, that is probably the reason the raiders became better this year is one man and few of his teammates K. Oselmli ( spelled wrong ) who was an off season acquisition from Baltimore

  • GordonGekko

    Bradford and his agent will ask for a new LT contract, but he’s not worth it at all. Let him play out 17 and see what happens to underwhelming Teddy before deciding.

  • David Prestin

    Sign him to a new 5 yr deal now. Waiting another year just makes the avg price per yr to increase. Teddy can take time to heal and 2018 or 2019 you trade one away for picks.

    If you watch that dump to mcinnon in the article, everyone looks pretty well covered. Only after he throws the ball does someone appear to get open. But only because the corner runs to help tackle McKinnon

    • Joey Klein

      Player are wide wide open down field use your eyes

      • David Prestin

        Not before the ball is thrown. So what’s with the kapernick pic next to your name? Go discuss his abilities as a QB. Please

        • Joey Klein

          I haven’t changed since 2012 and the 49ers are my 2nd favorite team

      • Marcus

        Teddy left alot of recievers wide open down the field in 2015 watch the tape and watch how bradford killed it on play action the one game AP was healthy

        • Joey Klein

          Bradford might have killed it on play action that game but that was one of our worst games this year we were destroyed by the colts

  • Talltales08

    ” If they do sign Bradford to a long-term deal and Bridgewater returns, they might end up having to trade a younger quarterback who has the potential to be better.” Bridgewater will never be better than Bradford, he doesn’t have near the arm strength. Put Bradford behind even an average OL and watch the score board light up.

    • Joey Klein

      He has plenty of arm strength just needs to work on accuracy plus any QB who isn’t injured most seasons is better than bradford

  • Rich P

    “then directs tight end Kyle Rudolph into an open spot in the defense and completes a first down pass’ LOL, NO Rudolph is WIDE OPEN when Teddy rolls BUT he’s way too slow to see it and then throws against his body which he should have never done.

    Poor attempt at showing a TB perceived strength but no matter, he is the vastly inferior QB and won’t be the starter for this team again.

    • Joey Klein

      Shut up you loser

  • AJ

    This is an easy decision for me. Let Bradford play out this year. See where Teddy is at health wise. Let Heinicke be the backup. If Bradford sucks, put Teddy in midway through the year and let Bradford walk. If Bradford lights it up, then franchise tag him and then you have to decide Teddy or Bradford. Extend one, trade the other.

  • Joey Klein

    Think the Vikings have to trade or get rid of Bradford not because he is bad but because he costs too much and is injury prone. Even if we can’t start teddy B right away the only reason Shaun Hill started instead on Taylor heincheke in week 1 was because heincheke was hurt. The Vikings need to trade Bradford and reinvest the cap space into offensive lineman in free agency like Andrew Whitworth and others

    • Topgunn

      Guys, I have a brother named Joey Klein and I can guarantee, this ain’t him. First, the spelling and grammar is a dead giveaway. He can’t spell anybody’s name correctly. No self respecting law school grad would communicate in this fashion. Second, while we’ve had fantastic debates about sports and politics through the years, the tone of THIS Joey Klein just isn’t right. Lastly, my brother can’t STAND Colin “What’s-His-Name” and would NEVER use him for an icon.

      • Joey Klein

        Arguing about spelling and grammar is pointless and counterintuitive ( I’m typing from my phone which isn’t the best for typing ). the photo is there from when Colin was good and the 49ers are my 2nd favorite team

        • Topgunn

          I accept your liking Colin when he was good. Loyalty is a good thing. Blaming spelling and grammar mistakes on the phone doesn’t cut it. It corrects those things for you and it also helps if you review what you’ve commented before you click “send.’

  • One big point was missed when comparing Teddy & Statue Sammy…..Teddy has something Sammy never has had that a WINNING QB must have…. HEART.

  • GordonGekko

    Teddy is out for 2017, so the stiff Bradford is in. If one of those 3 QBs falls into the 2nd rd the Vikings should grab one. Braford will want an extension now, but they shouldn’t give him one since he’s injury prone and hasn’t proved that he deserves a big contract. This stiff has made over $100 Mil being a mediocre QB.

  • brian199511

    Sorry to hear such a good guy and talented athlete would have such a devastating non-contact injury. Scouts mentioned Teddy’s very slight lower body build before the draft. Bradford frankly should be extended as he is a better passer while Bridgewater was (emphasize was) more mobile. I’d rather have a QB that is an accurate passer. One can hope Teddy will be a solid backup in the NFL but players often don’t come back at 80% from this injury. The OL can be fixed in free agency after cutting Peterson, Kalil and other deadwood as the Vikings will potentially have the most cap space in the NFL. Draft McCaffrey who can actually catch passes and block as well as run.

  • PurpleFaithful

    Lol at people who think Bridgewater will ever be better than Bradford. He won’t have as much mobilty any more and will not have developed for two years, still have weak arm, etc. Fire spielman for not drafting carr.

  • Chad Thostenson

    I hope teddy gets back to 100 %, and Bradford has a good enough season to recoup draft picks. Teddys only problems are those that are common for qb’s his age and he is closely being compared with a qb much older than him. Bradford refuses to sacrifice his completion percentage to try and win games, he’s not a winner, the defense everybody said was the reason for teddy leading the vikes to an 11-5 record was better for Bradford who only managed to go 8-8. Teddy also fixed his biggest weakness in the offseason with his throwing mechanics, I was really excited for the season before teddy got injured. Anybody who thinks Bradford is better bc of arm strength, plays to much rookie level madden.

  • Caleb Wogberg

    PLEASE DRAFT A QB!!





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