3 teams that could pursue trade for Sam Bradford

With Sam Bradford likely to request a trade, John Breitenbach identifies three QB-needy teams that could come to the table.

| 6 months ago
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

3 teams that could pursue trade for Sam Bradford

The Eagles’ deal with the Browns to move up to the No. 2 pick not only has ramifications for the draft, but also in Philadelphia’s locker room. After the announcement, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Sam Bradford was not pleased with the move. Following that news, Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole reported that Bradford would likely request a trade.

On the one hand, the Eagles are unlikely to move Bradford because they would still have to pay $11 million of his signing bonus. On the other, a team offering to repay some of the future compensation given up for the second-overall pick (2017 first-rounder and 2018 second-rounder) might convince owner Jeffrey Lurie to exchange dollars for draft capital. Even then, Howie Roseman reiterated only a couple of days ago that Bradford is the starting quarterback for this season. Perhaps the front office believes the competition will motivate him? The organization clearly currently views Bradford as the short-term starter, with Chase Daniel the long-term backup. The reluctance to sell could be tested, however, if one of the teams desperate for a QB views the former No. 1 overall pick as a solution.

Bradford is a slightly-better-than-average starter, with obvious strengths and weaknesses. At this stage of his career, he’s unlikely to improve much. With that said, San Francisco, Denver and the New York Jets have pressing need at quarterback. All three would upgrade their quality at the position by acquiring Bradford:

New York Jets

Geno Smith is currently the projected starter in New York, with Bryce Petty the backup. In his two full years as a starter, Smith has graded as 33rd and 40th amongst QBs. He’s thrown 35 picks to just 27 touchdowns so far in his career. On the field, he isn’t performing, while off the field, he’s getting in fights with teammates—simply put, the Jets need a solution. Ryan Fitzpatrick remains on the free-agent market, but New York is clearly reluctant to meet his contract demands.

Enter Sam Bradford. The current Eagle ranked 11th among NFL QBs last season with an 80.9 passing grade. Compare that to Fitzpatricks’ mark of 30th with a 56.7 grade, and you can see how Bradford could be a potential upgrade. Although he may not be the ideal fit for Chan Gailey’s offense, if the Jets can’t acquire a player like Paxton Lynch in the draft, it might be worth taking a flyer on Bradford.

Denver Broncos

John Elway has been reluctant to overpay for a quarterback this offseason, allowing the player he spent four years developing to walk in free agency. Bradford won’t require as much guaranteed money, or an investment for as many years. Another former Eagles quarterback, Mark Sanchez, is currently penciled in as the starter in Denver. As a backup in Philadelphia, he recorded a positive grade during the few weeks that Bradford was injured, but was still plagued by the untimely turnovers that have become a staple of his career. Sanchez recorded a QB rating of just 80.7, and threw as many picks as touchdowns (four). Should the Broncos continue to balk at the cost of Colin Kaepernick, Bradford might come into consideration.

San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco represents the most logical destination for Bradford, not least because their head coach has acquired him once already. Bradford was apparently dismayed at Kelly’s dismissal because he’ll now be required him to learn a new offense. Moving to San Francisco would solve that problem. The 49ers could use him, too. Blaine Gabbert may not be the terrified rookie he was in Jacksonville, but he still only ranked 27th among QBs in 2015 with a 66.5 overall grade. He completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,031 yards, 10 touchdowns, and seven picks. Simply put, Gabbert remains a less than ideal starter, and Colin Kaepernick is seemingly not happy about his current situation in San Francisco. Ultimately, a reunion with Chip Kelly seems most likely if Bradford were to be traded by Philadelphia.

| Analyst

John joined the PFF team in 2008, providing focused analysis on the NFL draft, team-building strategies, and positional value.

  • Brett A. Wheeler

    I thought of this as soon as the 49ers hired Chip Kelly. Sam Bradford would definitely be worth a shot at $7 million. SF currently has $52 million+ in
    cap space. Over the last half of 2015 (remember he missed all of 2014)
    he posted the following stats: 176/258, 1959 yds, 10 TD, 4 INT, QB
    rating 97.03. He has experience in Chip Kelly’s offense, could probably
    be had at a relative bargain, and is far better than any PASSING QB
    that the 49ers have trotted out for years.

    • theowl

      It is a good fit, though SF is very stingy when it comes to draft picks.

      • GJ

        Hello No. Not a good fit at all. Wasnt a good fit in Philly.

        • theowl

          Yeh, I have never been a big fan. I think I had a few too many.

    • LostAlone

      Look at the rest of Bradford’s stats last year though. 19 TD to 14 INT with 7 yards per attempt. That’s almost literally the same stat line as Blaine Gabbert. In half a season of games Gabbert had 10 TD to 7 INT with 7.2 yards per attempt. What possible reason would the 49ers have to give up anything to get a guy who hasn’t even thrived under Chip Kelly’s ‘quarterback proof’ offense?

      To put it another one: One guy played ok under Kelly’s offense that’s supposed to elevate a QB; one guy played ok without Kelly’s offense and has a year with Chip coming up. Why would you pay for the privilege of Bradford when Gabbert looks to be on the way up and you have a whole draft to re-stock your offense to build around him?

      • ccjd2013

        You forgot to mention how many drops his WRs had.

      • TJ1

        You also forgot to mention that Bradford’s play improved dramatically the second half of the season after he settled into the offense.
        I, for one, would like to see what he could do as a niner.

  • http://www.michaeltoebe.com Michael

    Bradford’s skills, while not elite, are not the primary concern.

    1. Can he stay healthy?

    2. What scheme would allow him to excel, play the best he’s ever played?

    3. Can he stay healthy? (Had to write it again)

  • hartjdave

    As a 49ers fan I cannot imagine anything less exciting than acquiring Sam Bradford..

    • ccjd2013

      and Chip Kelly as your coach is exciting hahahaha

    • usereasonandlogic

      As a broncos fan I cannot imagine anything more

  • Don Elretseo

    Bradford tantrum has a huge impact on this draft and potentially Sanchez, Kap, Fitzpatrick, Paxton Lynch and even Geno Smith.

    • TJ1

      Yeah! Isn’t it great!
      Love it when a player throws a monkey wrench in the choreographed moves in the world of GM’s.

  • AB Vinson

    Sam Bradford is turrible, Any team that trades for him is going to way over pay for his services and they will be looking for a QB next season anyway. I just don’t see why anyone would trade anything for him, worse comes to worse I would let Philly cut him so you don’t have to pay that terrible contract.

  • GJ

    This would be the dumbest move SF can possilby make.

  • William C. Smith

    Bradford to SF? Nooooooooo!!!

  • Tyler g

    The Jets are the only team I see a trade making sense with Bradford. He doesn’t do anything for denver now sf he is not moble. I as a bronco fan don’t want him and I don’t think chip would want him back again after seeing his not got any mobility skills . But I think he be great in NY and then they wouldn’t take paxton and denver would have a better shot at him. Or if we could just get kaep I’d be good with that, if not sanchez doesn’t worry me Kubiak can get good play out of him for god sakes he had matt scaub playing at pro bowl level one yr at ll-5 lol

  • V. C. Evans Sr.

    Need a good backup QB. Take a look at Vince Young.

    • James Troyer

      Vince Young? Hope you’re being facetious because you can 100% forget that. JaMarcus Russell sent a letter to every single NFL team basically begging for a chance just to work out for them and not one team was willing to bring him in and waste even a single hour of their time watching him throw. Once you’re out of the loop at the professional level you’re done, simple as that, it’s not like getting in shape so you can try and walk on somewhere in Division II.

  • Peter

    As a Jets fan this is a tough one for me. After reviewing FitzPatrick’s tapes, 30 of his passes could have been intercepted last year if not being bailed out by spectacular catches by Marshall and Decker. Bradford while not matching Fitzpatricks touchdown numbers still beat him out in completion percentage (65%) and almost matched him in total yards. And that was with a much less potent wide receiver corps in Philadelphia. If he can stay healthy Bradford would be and even better quarterback than Fitz Patrick was last year, especially in Galieys spread system. However that’s a big IF