Sam Bradford vs. Teddy Bridgewater: The New Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Debate

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 28: Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers on August 28, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings quarterback debate seemed like it was over just a few months ago, but Teddy Bridgewater really wants to make a comeback sooner than anyone could have anticipated. At least it appears he does, based on the photos and videos he has been posting on social media. But will Bridgewater be ready for the season opener? What does it mean for the Vikings if he is?

That’s a good question and not an easy one to answer. Bridgewater has been working out in Miami, Florida and seems to be getting ready to attend the Minnesota Vikings training camp starting July 23.

At least, that is what he said in a recent radio interview with ESPN: “As training camp approaches, I just want to make sure that I’m getting myself mentally prepared and physically prepared.”

Sam Bradford vs. Teddy Bridgewater: The New Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Debate

Maybe it’s just because it’s the slowest part of the NFL season, and also the time when fans are holding their breath to see what happens the moment their favorite team takes the field for the first pre-season game. Maybe it is something else entirely. However, when Bridgewater posted photos of himself working out without a leg brace last week, Vikings fans took notice, and the buzz began all over again.

A few pictures and videos on social media don’t really clue fans in as to whether Teddy will be ready to play or not. Until he is put through longer workouts with the team, contact, and realistic game-like scenarios, no one knows for sure what he is capable of.

Still, it leaves fans wondering who will be taking snaps from center this season? Will it be Bridgewater or Sam Bradford?

Contract Tolling

There is, of course, another question this raises when it comes to the young Vikings team: if he practices at training camp and is ready to play much sooner than anticipated, they could not toll his contract through 2018, and Bridgewater would become a free agent at the end of the 2017-18 season.

This would be less than ideal for the team at this point, at least from a financial perspective. Of course, it would be much better for Bridgewater financially and career wise, and no one can fault a guy who is medically cleared and ready to play for, well, playing.

No reasonable person would ask Bridgewater to sit out the first six games so the Vikings could save some money this year. If he’s able to play, he should play. Like any other player of his caliber, he must make the most of his career while he can.

Sam Bradford

What does this mean to Sam Bradford? While he had a great start last year, his performance fell off in the second half of the season. Whether that dip in performance can be attributed to a beat up offensive line or the lack of a solid running game, the fact remains that while Bradford might be the Minnesota quarterback of the future, he could probably still learn a few things by backing up Bridgewater.

At the same time, the two quarterbacks might split some snaps until Bridgewater is playing at full capacity, or alternatively, Bridgewater might back up Bradford for a short period of time.

In less than a week the Vikings will start training camp. If Bridgewater is there, if he is working out with the team, it will signal a miraculous recovery no one would have predicted just a few months ago. What it means for the rest of the season and the Vikings moving forward remains a mystery.

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