According to reports, Sam Bradford will sign a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals when NFL free agency officially opens at 4pm ET on Wednesday. He’ll be paid $20 million for his services.
Bradford is an excellent passer who’s never been able to realize his full potential thanks to injuries and Jeff Fisher. He has had a few great years, most notably in 2016 with the Vikings, when he threw for 3,877 yards, 20 touchdowns, and just five interceptions after being signed to replace the injured Teddy Bridgewater. However, while Bradford may be a $20 million QB when healthy, he’s not healthy very often. And a lot of people think it’s crazy to give him that kind of money even for one year.
Ravens safety Eric Weddle is one of those people. In fact, he went so far as to claim that nobody in NFL history has been paid so much for so little as Sam Bradford, whose insane rookie contract with the Rams was the very reason the NFL implemented rules limiting the size of rookie contracts.
So dumb. Bradford has been paid more for nothing than anyone in history of nfl
— Eric Weddle (@weddlesbeard) March 13, 2018
Weddle may have a point, too. The folks at For the Win looked it up, and Sam Bradford has averaged $14,260,550 per season in his NFL career. Then they looked up the yearly earning of nine other elite quarterbacks.
Take a look at this:
Peyton Manning: 13,818,444.44
Philip Rivers: $13,422,689.71
Andrew Luck: $13,184,666.33
Cam Newton: $12,813,166.28
Ben Roethlisberger: $12,163,347.42
Drew Brees: $11,356,901.37
Tom Brady: $10,953,711.33
Aaron Rodgers: $10,549579.15
Russell Wilson: $9,810,420
Those nine other QBs have combined for 67 Pro Bowls, 14 All-Pro teams, 11 MVP Awards, 12 Super Bowl wins, and 20 Super Bowl appearances. Sam Bradford has a big fat goose egg in every one of those categories.
Obviously, some of the disparities in average annual salary are due to different economic climates. Bradford’s new deal with the Cardinals wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t in the middle of a huge boom in quarterback salaries. Matt Stafford raised the bar last year. This year it was Jimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins.
Context aside, though, it is kind of crazy to think a guy who has missed three out of his eight NFL seasons could average a higher salary than a guy who’s won FIVE SUPER BOWLS.