Garrett Bradbury remains with the Vikings as the center has agreed a three-year contract with the team, a person close to the player who was not authorized to speak publicly confirmed that The athletic. Here’s what you need to know:
- Bradbury’s deal is worth up to $15.75 million, confirmed the person close to Bradbury.
- The 27-year-old center has been a starter his entire time in the league after the Vikings drafted him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
- The Vikings are finalizing a two-year deal with former Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy worth about $22 million, according to reports.
- Quarterback Kirk Cousins also restructured his contract to help Minnesota save $16 million, according to reports.
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The athletic‘s direct analysis:
Vikings maintain OL continuity
Bradbury loves the Minnesota offensive line and has developed relationships with elite tacklers like Brian O’Neill and Christian Darrisaw. The 2019 first-round pick also improved each year, making 2022 less crowded than any other season in his career, per PFF. However, that improvement still put him 28th out of 32 centers in blocking efficiency, which explains the complexity of deciding whether to pay him or let him walk. — Lewis
Why did the Vikings choose to re-sign Bradbury?
First, Bradbury is familiar with head coach Kevin O’Connell’s system and Cousins’ tendencies. Second, the Vikings needed a center and, given their salary cap, they wouldn’t be able to break the bank to buy one. Bradbury fits the bill in the sense that he always wanted to stay in purple. On the day the dressing room was cleaned, the center expressed his preference: he wanted to stick with an attacking line that has become closer over the years. The Vikings acceded to Bradbury’s preference. — Lewis
What should we think of Bradbury’s production?
For years, Bradbury’s game has been a source of polarization among Vikings fans. That he was elected in the first round in 2019 is part of the story. However, Bradbury also struggled in his first few seasons at centre. According to PFF, he was docked for four sacks in 2019 and five sacks in 2020. In the past few years, he was only credited with four sacks in total. Bradbury also missed time last season with a back injury. That said, he has applauded the team’s new training staff, led by Tyler Williams, which also matters as part of this deal. The team was and is well aware of Bradbury’s limitations – more than any other. That should help his development. — Lewis
Earlier today, the Vikings restructured quarterback Kirk Cousins’ deal.
What was the thinking behind that step?
At 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, every NFL team must meet the salary cap. Before the Cousins restructured, the Vikings were left in the red. By converting part of its roster bonus into a signing bonus, the team alleviated current cap concerns, pushing money into the future. Within the restructuring, the Vikings also added two additional empty years, splitting future money in the event the team retains cousins. However, the restructuring doesn’t mean Cousins will be the Vikings’ QB in the long run. However, it could increase the team’s chances of getting Harrison Smith and Dalvin Cook to safety. — Lewis
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