Teddy Bridgewater's future uncertain as Vikings move ahead with Sam Bradford

Tom Pelissero
USA TODAY Sports
Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater's knee injury cost him the entire 2016 season.

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings still can’t say when or if quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will play again. And that’s surely part of the reason general manager Rick Spielman says he still feels good about his bold trade for Sam Bradford after Bridgewater’s injury.

“I can tell you that, looking back on that trade, with all the other options, I would do that over in a second to get a Sam Bradford on our football team with the circumstances we were dealing with,” Spielman told a small group of reporters Thursday. “Because I think he’s got a chance to be a pretty good player, a quarterback, in this league.”

The Vikings traded their first-round pick in April’s draft and a conditional pick (which ended up being a fourth-rounder) in 2018 to the Philadelphia Eagles for Bradford on Sept. 3, four days after Bridgewater suffered a catastrophic knee injury in practice.

A little less than six months later, Spielman said there is still is no timeline on Bridgewater, adding he “is attacking his rehab as diligently as he can. He’s putting everything into it to get back on the field as quickly as he can.”

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But Bridgewater, 24, is still working on his motion and hasn’t progressed to any football drills, Spielman said.

Asked directly if he’s 100% certain Bridgewater will play again, Spielman said: “Well, everybody’s hoping, but I’m not … what is it, a soothsayer?”

Had the Vikings not traded for Bradford and instead proceeded with backup Shaun Hill last season, they’d likely be looking for a starting quarterback now via trade, in free agency or in a draft class that’s regarded as average at best and reputedly light on players capable of starting immediately. So Minnesota's fade from 5-0 to 8-8 last season didn’t render the deal a failure.

Spielman praised Bradford’s toughness and performance amidst tough circumstances last season, saying it’s clear going back to the second half of the 2015 campaign in Philadelphia that he’s in his prime at age 29. Spielman also mentioned Bradford on a list of players whose contracts need to be addressed at some point, but stopped short of saying that’ll happen before the season.

“Everything’s in flux right now,” Spielman said. “So, I’ll just leave it at that.”

Bradford is due $18 million in 2017, the last year of his contract. That includes a $4 million bonus due the fifth day of the league year next month, which USA TODAY Sports reported in December the Vikings intended to pay.

The Vikings also have a decision to make by early May on Bridgewater’s fifth-year contract option for 2018.

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