The blockbuster Sam Bradford trade on Saturday caught the NFL world by surprise. With Teddy Bridgewater out for the season — and maybe longer — the Minnesota Vikings felt like they had to make a bold move. The Philadelphia Eagles , despite giving up a lot of money for Bradford and only having Carson Wentz and Chase Daniel to step in, felt they were getting enough in return to make the move.
Both Rick Spielman and Howie Roseman detailed how the trade went down in an excellent mini oral history as told to Peter King of TheMMQB.com. The whole thing is worth a read, but what stood out was the ample interest in dealing quarterbacks from other teams.
After Bridgewater went down and the Vikings figured out the timeline for his recovery, Tuesday got hectic for Spielman and his staff:
I said to [scouts and personnel guys]: “This is what we’re getting paid to do, finding the best solution out of the worst-case scenario. And that’s what we’re going to do here.’ I got up on the white board, and we sorted out the scenarios — guys on the street we might want, guys who might get cut, guys on teams that might have enough depth that they’d consider dealing [a quarterback]. Names and options. Then we all got to work watching tape, and I started making calls. To be honest, there was no solution. No good solution.
Regardless of where you think Bridgewater was on the scale of NFL quarterbacks, having him was better than not having him. The Vikings went from Super Bowl sleepers and defending division champions to a talented young team that might be looking at a situation where a big chunk of their window got lopped off.
So that’s why Spielman, who has done a tremendous job assembling this roster, went to work on Wednesday, trying to piece together exactly what the Vikings would do. When you’re in his position the only thing you can do is make calls and hope there’s interest out there.
There was “blood in the water.”
I made a bunch of calls. I am not gonna mention teams. But there was blood in the water and teams knew it. The price was too high. I didn’t want to mortgage our future. Some teams asked for a first-round pick and a core young player. I can understand the pick. But we worked too hard over the past three years to put all that time and energy into drafting and developing a solid core of this team. I was taken aback who they were asking for. Players who’d been in the Pro Bowl. I mean, in the offseason you’ve got time. There’s not blood in the water in the offseason. But now there was.
Nothing wrong with being a general manager and trying to extract the most valuable possible out of another team, especially when you know how desperate the team is for a quarterback.
Cincinnati Bengals : AJ McCarron feels like a wheel-house option here, given he’s shown an ability to start and win games and even start in the playoffs. He’s young and under contract for several years. The Bengals have been known to be stubborn and understand what happens if they trade McCarron and then Andy Dalton gets hurt (it’s not good).
New England Patriots : Can’t you see Bill Belichick asking for a first-round pick and Anthony Barr in exchange for Jimmy Garoppolo ? It’s an absolutely insane idea, except maybe it’s not. The Pats can hardly afford to deal Jimmy G, because he’s the starter for four games to start this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers : Mike Glennon has to be available for trade, although it’s hard to imagine the Bucs wouldn’t take a first-round pick for their backup, especially when this is his final season under contract. Of course, the Bucs saw what happened to the Vikings when their young star quarterback suffered a fluke injury. If the same thing happened to Jameis Winston and they didn’t have Glennon it would be a problem.
Cleveland Browns : Josh McCown falls in the same position, especially with the Browns willing to deal just about every single veteran on their roster. Are they really not going to take an extra first for McCown?
The only other teams that might warrant consideration are the Carolina Panthers ( Derek Anderson ) and Arizona Cardinals ( Drew Stanton ) — those are two of the best backups in the NFL, but it’s hard to imagine them being worth picks and players. On the other hand, if you’re staring down the barrel of a potential Super Bowl season, you might very well want to make sure you have a decent option at your backup quarterback.
No one knows this better than Spielman. Now he just has to hope Sam Bradford and Shaun Hill are enough.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Vikings talked with multiple teams about QB trades: ‘There was blood in the water’