How Much Would Re-Signing Garrett Bradbury Cost Vikings?


Wouldn’t it be nice, just once, to do what Chiefs and Eagles fans are doing this week? Reading articles and opening websites featuring Super Bowl LVII odds, storylines and predictions like little kids unwrapping christmas gifts…

Maybe someday. Until then, Minnesota Vikings fans, along with 29 other fanbases, are looking ahead to the NFL offseason. That’s ok, we’re used to it here. And this offseason, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s 2nd as Vikings general manager, has a large to-do list.

Find a capable center

One of his highest priority tasks, over the next month or two, is finding a capable center to plug into the middle of the offensive line. Last year, Garrett Bradbury played much better than his first three seasons. His 2022 PFF grade (70.2) was 10 points higher than what he averaged from 2019-2021 (<60.0).

Bradbury’s pass block grade (68.1), believe it or not, was nearly 25 points higher than his previous best (43.7). Still, because of his sub-par performance through the first three years of his career, the Vikings chose not to pick up his 5th year rookie option prior to the 2022 season.

Should Vikings Bring Garrett Bradbury Back?

Consequently, he’s set to enter free agency next month. So what will Kwesi do? Well, we’ve already talked about replacing him with former Gopher, John Michael Schmitz, who’s expected to go somewhere in the 1st-3rd round range, come April’s draft.

But we can be sure that Kwesi & Co will thoroughly investigate all options before making a decision on what to do at center. And one of the easiest, cleanest and possibly best options is re-signing Garrett Bradbury.

While not perfect, Bradbury proved last season that he can hold his own on a good offensive line. On top of that, you already know his personality fits with Kirk Cousins and in the Vikings’ locker room. There’s a lot to be said about that side of the game.

What will he cost?

At the end of the day, however, Kwesi is on a rather tight budget. So the best option will come down to cost, especially when it comes to Garrett Bradbury. And that number is different, depending on where you look.

At the previously mentioned Pro Football Focus, for example, Bradbury appears affordable, projecting to cost his next team a rather palatable $6.25 million per season (3-years, $10 million guaranteed). While the Vikings’ cap restraints are real, they’re still trying to win.

Will they get a center equal to or better than Bradbury for $6 million or less? Not unless they plan to draft John Michael Schmitz. But not all football pundits agree on what the 2018 NCAA Rimington Award winner will cost on the open market.

Spotrac, a website that I use regularly for salary cap projections and calculations, has Bradbury costing his next team $11.9 million per season (4-years), nearly double PFF’s mark. At that price, there’s no way the Vikings can or should re-sign Garrett Bradbury.

You could argue Bradbury’s 2022 season was worth that type of payday… maybe? But I’d need a crystal ball and a fortune teller bearing good news if I’m going to pay that type of price for an offensive lineman we all thought was a 1st round bust this time last year.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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