SAM BRADFORD TIMELINE
Early life: Bradford was born Nov. 8, 1987 in Oklahoma City. His father, Kent, had been a lineman for Oklahoma in the late 1970s. Bradford is 1⁄16 Cherokee Indian. He was a standout football and basketball player at Putnam City North High School in Northwest Oklahoma City, graduating in 2006. Another alum of Putnam City North is actress Olivia Munn, whose boyfriend is Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Stepping right in: Bradford got a scholarship to Oklahoma and redshirted in 2006. He won the starting job in 2007, and set an NCAA freshman record with 30 touchdown passes as the Sooners won the Big 12 before losing to West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl.
Heisman season: As a sophomore in 2008, Bradford won the Heisman Trophy as college football’s best player, becoming the second sophomore to earn the award (Tim Tebow won as a sophomore in 2007). Tebow, third in the voting in 2008, and Florida beat Oklahoma 24-14 in the national championship game. Bradford threw for 4,721 yards in 13 games, with 50 touchdown passes and eight interceptions.
Injuries begin: Bradford returned to Oklahoma for his junior season in 2009, but injured his right (throwing) shoulder in the season opener and missed three weeks. Upon his return, he reinjured the shoulder in his first game back and had season-ending surgery.
Decision time: Bradford declared for the 2010 NFL draft and was taken first overall by the St. Louis Rams. Benefiting from the old Collective Bargaining Agreement, he signed a contract making him the highest paid rookie in league history — six years, $78 million with $50 million guaranteed.
Rookie season: Bradford was the NFL offensive rookie of the year with the Rams, completing 354 of 590 passes (both rookie records) for 3,512 yards and 18 TDs. He started all 16 games.
Sophomore slump: Bradford was bothered by an ankle injury in 2011 and played only 10 games as the Rams went 2-14. St. Louis had the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NFL draft, but traded the pick to Washington, which claimed QB Robert Griffin III after Indianapolis took QB Andrew Luck No. 1 overall. The Vikings, after beating Washington on Christmas Eve, fell to No. 3 in the draft and missed on the quarterback sweepstakes.
Back at it: Bradford had his best full season for St. Louis in 2012 as the Rams went 7-8-1. He started all 16 games and passed for 3,702 yards.
Knee troubles: Bradford was on his way to a strong season in 2013, passing for 14 touchdowns through seven games, but tore the ACL in his left knee in Game 7 and missed the rest of the season. He was ready for training camp in 2014, but suffered the same injury in a preseason game and missed the entire season.
Flying to Philly: Bradford was traded on March 10, 2015 with a fifth-round pick for Nick Foles, a fourth rounder and a second rounder in an exchange of starting quarterbacks.
Different fit: Under coach Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense, Bradford passed for 3,725 yards and 19 touchdowns in 14 games. He was 7-7 as a starter. Kelly was fired as coach and Doug Pederson took over.
Crossed signals: Bradford signed a two-year, $36 million contract last March, but the Eagles traded for the No. 2 pick in the draft and chose North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz. Bradford stayed away from the team’s organized team activities for two weeks while as reports surfaced that he wanted to be traded.
New home: Bradford was traded to the Vikings on Saturday for a first-round pick in 2017 and a conditional fourth round pick in 2018.