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Bleacher Report – Vikings

How should we read Mike Zimmer’s comments about Sam Bradford?

By Matthew Coller

One of the most memorable moments of Minnesota Vikings training camp in 2017 was quarterback Sam Bradford jumping on head coach Mike Zimmer after throwing a touchdown.

Last offseason, Zimmer gained appreciation for Bradford – not just because of his rocket arm and majestic training camp throws, but for his football mind as well. Zimmer got to know Bradford better in ’17 than he had the previous year when he was acquired 10 days before the season. Then the former Ram and Eagle validated Zimmer’s optimism when he threw for 346 yards in a demolition of the New Orleans Saints in Week 1.

Speaking with the media at the NFL Combine on Thursday about the quarterback situation, the Vikings’ head coach called Bradford’s knee issue “degenerative” but also praised his 2016 starter’s skill set.

“The whole thing is difficult, honestly. Bradford had an unbelievable game his first game, plays 15 games, can throw the heck out of the ball, everywhere you want to go,” Zimmer said.

When the Vikings’ head coach was asked about Bradford’s current status, he said:

“Actually, he was skiing last week,” Zimmer said. “And they say he’s like an Olympic skier. I mean, the guy can ski — everybody says he’s a bad athlete, but he’s a scratch golfer, he’s a hockey player. I mean, he’s unbelievable.”

One day after Zimmer’s comments, we received our first Bradford-returns rumor.

NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal wrote:

“One of the most surprising developments this week is the growing wisdom that Minnesota’s Option B could be re-signing Sam Bradford rather than Case Keenum or Teddy Bridgewater.”

There is certainly a scenario in which Bradford could come back. If the Vikings do not land free agent Kirk Cousins and either Teddy Bridgewater goes elsewhere or they believe his medical situation to be too risky, they could bring back Bradford on a one-year deal and either sign a trusted backup like Josh McCown or even draft a QB at No. 30 overall.

Both Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman hinted at the draft class being intriguing. The name that would naturally make sense is Louisville’s Lamar Jackson. There is a chance he drops in the draft because teams are concerned about some mechanical issues. But others like Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen could drop as well.

Bradford might be the cheapest option. Uncertainty around his surgically repaired knee (x3) could drive the price down, giving the Vikings an opportunity to load up in free agency.

The holdup on a Bradford deal is that the Vikings’ roster is good enough to compete for a Super Bowl next season. While they went 12-3 under backup Case Keenum last year, the odds aren’t great of repeating that performance with a backup again – even a proven one. So another injury to Bradford could sink a promising year.

He will also have other offers. Whoever loses out on Cousins will be on the hunt for a new QB and prices are steep these days.

The takeaway: Bradford seemed like he was out of the mix, but he may now be a dark horse to return.

The post How should we read Mike Zimmer’s comments about Sam Bradford? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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