It isn’t an understatement to call this the most important season of Garrett Bradbury’s NFL career. The Minnesota Vikings declined to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, meaning that he’s going into his final year in purple in 2022. While he’s had his moments, particularly in the run game, he’s had a great deal of difficulty in pass protection. Some of that has been attributed to his lack of size, but he’s doing something about that.
In a story from Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, we learn that Bradbury is “back above 300 pounds” as he prepares for his fourth season as the Vikings’ starting center. Bradbury says that it’s been a full-time job to put the pounds on in the proper manner.
“Adding it the right way,” Bradbury said. “Anyone can eat a bunch of pizza and put on some pounds, but trying to add it the right way, working with the right people. I’m naturally not a 350-pound guy, but that’s part of the job requirement, so that’s something I’ve tried to hone in on this offseason and will reap the benefits from it this season.”
It will be interesting to see if Bradbury’s extra weight will help him out when the (figurative) bullets start to fly in Training Camp and the pre-season. Along with the weight issue, some of Bradbury’s struggles have been attributed to the Vikings’ guard play, but the Vikings appear to be taking that excuse off the table with the drafting of Ed Ingram and the addition of Jessie Davis and Chris Reed in free agency this offseason.
If Bradbury can put together a solid 2022, he could put himself in a position for a decent payday, whether it comes from the Vikings or from somewhere else. Hopefully he’ll be able to pick things up and fulfill the promise that the team saw in him when he was drafted 18th overall by the Vikings in 2019.