The Minnesota Vikings have until 3 May to decide whether they are going to pick up the fifth-year options on the contracts of linebacker Anthony Barr and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. According to one source, the decision has already been made on one of those players. . .and a lot of people probably aren’t going to like it, even though it doesn’t mean anything definitive as of right now.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Vikings will not be picking up Bridgewater’s option for 2018.
Bridgewater suffered a devastating non-contact knee injury in one of the final practices of Training Camp last season, and his status for 2017. . .and beyond. . .is still very much up in the air. As a first-round pick that was outside of the top ten, the figure for his option year would likely be in the $11 to 13 million range. . .and is guaranteed against injury, meaning that if Bridgewater wasn’t ready to go by the start of the 2018 league year, the Vikings would be on the hook for the entire amount. This is similar to what happened with defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who the Vikings will be paying nearly $7 million to this year and may not play again after he suffered nerve damage to his knee during surgery last season.
Now, this definitely doesn’t immediately spell the end of Bridgewater’s time in Minnesota. In his press conference yesterday, Rick Spielman raved about the progress that Bridgewater was making in his rehab and how he was spending time at the facility and with the offense in the early phases of the offseason workout program. This is simply a way for the Vikings to ensure that they’re not on the hook for a huge amount of money for a player that may or may not be ready. If Bridgewater does come back at some point this season, then the team can attempt to work out a deal independent of the fifth-year option to keep Bridgewater in Minnesota.
The team also has to be concerned with the status of quarterback Sam Bradford, who they acquired in a trade last season after Bridgewater’s injury (in a trade that some people are still kind of mad about for reasons I’m not going to attempt to understand). Bradford is in the final year of his contract, and is coming off of what might have been the best season of his career.
It appears that the quarterback situation with the Minnesota Vikings has just gotten a little more interesting, folks. We’ll have to see how all of this plays out.