C Garrett Bradbury Gets 3-Year Deal to Stay with the Vikings
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has been an extremely busy man over the past few days, swinging deals with multiple players in the past 24 hours. Minutes after Minnesota and QB Kirk Cousins agreed to a contract conversion, saving $16 million in cap space, the Vikings and C Garrett Bradbury also agreed to a deal that will keep the starting center in Minnesota, as reported by Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. Ian Rapoport then followed behind him by reporting that it would be a three-year contract worth a total of $15.75 million.
The Minnesota Vikings have had a bit of a strange relationship with their 2019 first-round pick over the years. Minnesota selected Bradbury 18th overall with the hope that his athleticism could transform him into one of the better centers in the NFL.
Unfortunately, that did not pan out exactly the way they had hoped as Bradbury struggled mightily in pass protection over the first few years of his career. This prompted Minnesota to decline his fifth-year option for 2023, thus thrusting the 27-year-old into free agency this offseason.
However, Bradbury’s “prove-it” year in 2022 was quite successful, showing vast improvements in pass protection compared to recent years despite a back injury derailing the final weeks of his season.
This improvement resulted in PFF giving him a career-high grade of 70.2 last season, and as a result, Minnesota has decided that they want to make him their starting center of the future.
Assuming Bradbury comes back fully healthy in 2023 and shows similar production and improvements as he did last year, this is a terrific deal for the Vikings, regardless of how much of that contract ends up being guaranteed.
Now, with the center, right guard, and right tackle positions being solidified for the next few years, the focus likely turns to the left-hand side of the o-line. Ezra Cleveland is entering the final year of his contract in 2023 and could be an extension candidate this offseason. Additionally, Christian Darrisaw will be eligible for an extension next offseason and could receive a market-resetting deal if he continues to play at the elite level that he showcased throughout 2022.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.