National experts mostly agree both sides involved in the Sam Bradford trade were winners.
The Vikings were desperate for an experienced quarterback and the Eagles’ roster was overloaded with overpaid quarterbacks, including the 2016 No. 2 overall draft pick Carson Wentz.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King said the Vikings overpaid for Bradford with a first-round draft pick in 2017 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018, but the deal was necessary.
“Did they overpay? Of course they overpaid. But they’re going to overpay as you get close to the season. It is a trade I would have made if I were [Vikings general manager] Rick Spielman,” King said.
“I see the trade from the Eagles point of a view for a very simple reason. When you get a [first- and fourth-round draft pick] for a quarterback that is going to be on the team for one more year when you’re franchise quarterback is already on the the roster, it’s a trade I also have to make if I’m the Eagles.
“As Rick Spielman told me on the phone Sunday, ‘Listen, all you can do in a situation like this is do the best thing you think at the time is the best thing for your team and you just got to let the chips fall where they may,’ and that’s what these two teams are going to do. But to me, it’s an absolutely understandable trade for each side.”
ESPN’s John Clayton agreed the price was steep, but necessary to stay in contention in the NFC North.
“[Bradford’s] situation is so much better in Minnesota,” Clayton wrote. “The Vikings are a Super Bowl contender because they have a defense that will keep opponents under 20 points per game, and they have Adrian Paterson in the backfield. If Bradford can get into the playoffs and win a game or two, he might live up to his $18 million-a-year contract. He also won’t have to worry about job security like he would in Philadelphia; Bradford walked out of organized team activities after the Eagles drafted Carson Wentz, sensing he would be released or traded after the season. Sure, the pressure is on, but Bradford has the best surrounding talent around him in his career. Let’s see if he can finally realize his potential.”
Clayton also praised Eagles general manger Howie Roseman for proving once again he’s among the most innovative front office executive in the league.
Marc Sessler at NFL.com wrote that this trade shows the Vikings won’t give in and landed a quarterback that “many coaches around the league – if not the fans – still believe in.”
Gregg Rosenthal at NFL.com said the Eagles and Vikings are both winners, highlighting the Vikings ownership specifically.
“No one wants to say it, but the Vikings did not want to move into a beautiful new stadium with 16 games of Shaun Hill on tap," Rosenthal wrote. "Bradford is not the fan favorite that Teddy Bridgewater is, but this gives the organization renewed life heading into the 2016 season. … It remains a team built to compete for titles on defense and Adrian Peterson. They have a proven quarterback tutor in Norv Turner. If he can’t get Bradford to finally fulfill his potential, one will.
Rosenthal and Clayton, however, noted Bridgewater as a loser in this deal because of the way Bradford’s contract is structured into next season. This could mean the Vikings have “serious questions” about Bridgewater’s ability to start next season healthy.
CBS Sports reported that some NFL executives understand why Spielman gave up so much for Bradford, but other execs questioned the decision.
"I have to give Howie credit. I don't agree with everything they do and he opens himself up to criticism with some of the things he does, but he is a wizard when it comes to some of these trades," an unamed exec told CBS Sports. "Not everyone's owner will eat $11M to make that trade, but his will and this is another contract I didn't think he could get value for. This gets him back some of the picks he gave up for Wentz, and moving up twice doesn't look as crazy now. I cannot believe he got a 1 for Bradford. I really can't.
“And if you are Rick, you have to see the red flags with this quarterback. The Rams, who didn't have a quarterback and paid him $70M, just dumped him two years ago for Nick Foles. Now the Eagles are dumping him after one season. Maybe he is an upgrade over what they have, but that's a lot to give up for Sam Bradford. Are you going to go deep into the postseason with Bradford? They obviously think so. Unless you do, you probably gave up way too much."