Replacing Teddy Bridgewater (9/4/16)
The Vikings attempted to solve their issue at quarterback by shipping a pair of draft picks, including a first-round pick in 2017, to the Eagles in exchange for Sam Bradford. Last week, we wrote about the downgrade from Teddy Bridgewater to Shaun Hill, and this week, we'll attempt to quantify just how much Bradford is actually worth to the Vikings.
It should be noted that despite being the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Bradford has been largely ineffective at the pro level. His 6.5 career yards per attempt—a metric that is correlated with success at the quarterback position—is pretty abysmal. We won't pin his career record entirely on him (the Rams and Eagles teams that he played for were void of talent), but an 18-30-1 career mark leaves much to be desired. It's possible that another change in scenery could be exactly what Bradford needs; especially with quarterback guru Norv Turner being the offensive coordinator in Minnesota, but we're still very skeptical.
Minnesota was projected to average 24.5 points per game with Bridgewater under center, but that number dropped to approximately 21.8 points per game if veteran journeyman Shaun Hill had assumed the starter's role for the entire season. When we plug Bradford into the Vikings' offense, Minnesota scores approximately 22.1 points per game against a league average defense. So, as it stands, the Vikings appear to have given away two draft picks for a quarterback that leads their offense to roughly 0.3 more points per game against a league average defense.
As you can see from the table above, Bradford's effect on the Vikings' win expectancy is a lot closer to that of Shaun Hill than it is to that of Teddy Bridgewater. When seeing the impact that Bradford is projected to have on the Vikings in 50,000 simulations, it's pretty evident that Minnesota gave up far too much to acquire the once-promising quarterback. With that being said, the Vikings are projected to be above .500 with whichever quarterback we plug into their system. This is a testament to the defense that head coach Mike Zimmer has been building in the past couple of years. Minnesota slots in to the #12 spot in our latest Power Rankings, so the season is definitely not lost by any means, but it will certainly be an uphill struggle to replace the production of Bridgewater this season.