In the era of HAWT TAEKS, there seems to be a never-ending stream of opinions on the trade between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles that brought quarterback Sam Bradford to Minnesota. While we may never know what really, actually happened, Peter King's MMQB column for today has some perspective on the trade from the two General Managers that were involved, Rick Spielman of the Vikings and Howie Roseman of the Eagles.
Obviously, fans of the Vikings are going to find Spielman's perspective more compelling, and he makes some pretty interesting statements in this piece. Granted, we don't know exactly how much is "Rickspeak" and how much is legitimate, but it's better than nothing.
Particularly interesting, to me, is Spielman's mention of how much teams were asking when he was calling around asking teams about a potential trade.
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 off-season, you’ve got time. There’s not blood in the water in the off-season. But now there was.
Yes. . .desperation, as they say, is a stinky cologne. But if what Spielman is saying here is legitimate, that's an absolutely ridiculous price for teams to be asking, particularly for the level of quarterbacks that might have been rumored to be available in a trade.
To quantify this a bit, here are all the Vikings' Pro Bowl players from the current roster from the past few years:
2015 - Anthony Barr, Teddy Bridgewater, Everson Griffen, Adrian Peterson, Harrison Smith
2014 - None
2013 - Cordarrelle Patterson, Peterson
2012 - Chad Greenway, Matt Kaili, Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph, Blair Walsh
2011 - Chad Greenway
I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that they weren't asking for Greenway (age), Kalil (price tag), Patterson (why?), Bridgewater (duh), or Walsh. That would leave Barr, Griffen, Rudolph, and Smith.
I'll say this. . .if I'm giving up a first-round draft choice and one of those guys, the return had damn well better be something significantly greater than A.J. McCarron or Mike Glennon. The word going around was that the Bengals and Buccaneers weren't making McCarron or Glennon available in a trade anyway. If those guys were the top of the proverbial food chain for a trade and teams were asking that sort of price for guys that aren't as good, then it stands to reason that Spielman getting Bradford for the price he got him at was really the best that could be hoped for under the circumstances.
I mean, honestly. . .if you think the reaction to the Bradford trade is bad with the Vikings giving up a #1 in 2017 and a #4 in 2018, imagine what it would be if the Vikings have given up a #1 and Everson Griffen (or, lord help us, Barr or Smith) and gotten a return of Mike freaking Glennon. . .or worse.
Later on in the article, Spielman does seem to confirm what a lot of us were thinking with this deal. . .that being that Bradford being under contract through the 2017 season played a significant factor.
That’s when I got more aggressive with Howie. I knew it would be a significant compensation, asking a team to give their starting quarterback eight days before the start of the season. I will do everything in my power to always give us the best chance to win, and it came down to—this is what we’re dealing with. I can’t change that. We have a good football team, a young football team. Parting with the one, I knew I still had eight picks next year, including two threes and two fours. What really was significant for us was the second year of the contract with Sam. No one knows how long it’s going to take Teddy to recover. I had one other thing going with another team on Friday, but we liked Sam a lot.
Well, I guess we'll never know who the "other team" was that Spielman had something working with. That might be for the best. But this is the first time I can recall seeing someone from the Vikings themselves acknowledge that Teddy Bridgewater might not be 100% for the start of the 2017 season. With that being the case, having Bradford on the roster prevents this team from having to go through that again. Sure, they could still draft a quarterback in 2017, but then they could take some time to develop them rather than having to throw them to the wolves right away.
You really should read the entire piece by Peter King. I know that not everyone here is a Peter King fan, but in this particular instance it does bring a different perspective to what happened on Saturday.