The NFL Draft has come and gone and among the haul of players the Cardinals brought in was the absolute crown jewel at the quarterback position — Josh Rosen. Experts and draft pundits across the web seem to be almost in unanimous agreement that the move Steve Keim made to get to the 10th pick in the first round and take Rosen was a no-brainer. Rosen is, by many accounts, the most pro-ready QB to come out of the draft.
So if Rosen is really as pro-ready as many are indicating, then could a different player be on his way out the door?
The Cardinals’ initial solution at the quarterback position was to sign two different players in free agency in Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon. After flopping with the Chicago Bears last year, Glennon isn’t see as much more than a backup quarterback. Bradford, however, was the presumed started when he was signed and could still be — for now.
Remember, Bradford has gone through this scenario before. He was traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Minnesota Vikings after Teddy Bridgewater went down with an injury and the Vikings became desperate for a starting caliber quarterback. In return, they gave up a first round and a fourth round pick to Eagles to get Bradford in the fold.
If a team suffers a big quarterback injury in the offseason or preseason, would Cardinals GM Steve Keim take calls and even consider moving Bradford the same way the Eagles did once before?
Remember, the Cardinals are on the hook for the $10 million signing bonus that became guaranteed the moment Bradford signed his name to his contract. After that, he has only a $5 million base salary and $5 million in bonuses based on playing time (injury protection). With half of his cash being paid out by Arizona, other GMs around the league may be more willing to take on the remainder of the contract in a trade.
Yes, Bradford has a no trade clause in his contract, but if he is beat out by a rookie, would he really want to sit on the bench?
Now, I know what you are thinking, who doesn’t want to sit on the bench and collect paychecks, but much of Bradford’s salary is tied to playing time bonuses. He has no way to reach those bonuses if he’s on the bench.
We don’t really fully know what we have in Rosen yet. He could be a guy that everyone hypes up as being ready from the start, but in reality, he may need to sit for a year or two before taking the field. And if that’s the case, that’s okay. But with Rosen drafted and Glennon on the roster, Keim and Bradford suddenly may have options in trying to extract value out his contract.