Sam Bradford got the trade he wanted months ago — just eight days before the season opener.
The Philadelphia Eagles sent Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday for a pair of draft picks. Bradford replaces Teddy Bridgewater, who went down for the season after sustaining a gruesome knee injury this week.
The Eagles receive a first-round pick in 2017 and a fourth-round pick in 2018.
Bradford’s departure means backup Chase Daniel will start the season as Philadelphia’s No. 1 quarterback. Carson Wentz, selected with the No. 2 overall pick, missed the last three preseason games after breaking his ribs. McLeod Bethel-Thompson is currently the third quarterback on Philadelphia’s roster.
The Vikings will be turning to Bradford over veteran Shaun Hill once Bradford learns yet another new system. Bradford will now play for his sixth offensive coordinator — Norv Turner — in seven seasons. A former 2010 No. 1 overall pick, Bradford was acquired from St. Louis by Chip Kelly last year. He had a strong second half in Kelly’s up-tempo offense.
Bradford passed up a chance to test free agency and signed a two-year, $36-million contract with $22 million guaranteed in March. He regretted the decision after the Eagles traded several draft picks to select Wentz, and Bradford skipped some voluntary workouts in the off-season. The Eagles discussed a trade with the Denver Broncos, but couldn’t agree to a deal, so Bradford returned and played well in the preseason in new Coach Doug Pederson’s offense.
Bradford reunites with Pat Shurmur, Minnesota’s tight ends coach. Shurmur was Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator in 2015 and as well as Bradford’s rookie season with the Rams.
The Vikings won the NFC North last season and acquiring Bradford means they clearly think they will compete again. The Eagles were 7-9 last season and would’ve been in rebuilding mode in a division other than the weak NFC East. Trading Bradford allows them to develop Wentz sooner than expected.
The Houston Texans activated star defensive end J.J. Watt from the physically unable to perform last Saturday, and waived 18 players. Watt, a three-time NFL defensive player of the year, missed the entire preseason after having back surgery in July. He has started every game in his five-year career and is expected to start next Sunday’s opener against Chicago. … The New York Jets have cut 18 players, including fullback Tommy Bohanon, linebacker Trevor Reilly and wide receivers Jeremy Ross and Kenbrell Thompkins.