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The Cardinals vowed to enter this year’s free-agency period with multiple plans to fill their vacant quarterback position. Turns out, they only need two.
After missing out on Kirk Cousins, who chose the Vikings, the Cardinals quickly turned to former Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford, who will sign with Arizona in the next few days.
Details of the contract were not available, but it’s a short-term deal believed to be worth an average of around $18 million a year, according to an NFL source. Incentives could increase the average to more than $20 million.
Players cannot sign contracts until 1 p.m. on Wednesday, the first day of the 2018 league year.
Bradford is represented by Tom Condon, who was busy negotiating with the Cardinals on at least two fronts.
Condon also represents safety Tyrann Mathieu, whom the Cardinals have asked to take a pay cut. The Cardinals and Mathieu are making positive strides toward a restructured contract that will keep Mathieu in Arizona, according to a source.
Mathieu is due to have $18 million of is contract guaranteed if he is on the roster tomorrow afternoon. The Cardinals didn’t want to be on the hook for that, but they do want to keep Mathieu. A new contract would lower his cap number of $14.1 million for this year.
Cousins was Plan A at quarterback, but the Vikings were the favorite to land him all along.
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Bradford, 30, has dealt with knee injuries throughout his career and played just two games last year for the Vikings. But he has a strong, accurate arm and has 101 touchdown passes and 57 interceptions during a career that’s included stops in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Minnesota.
Bradford isn’t expected to be as expensive as Cousins, whose three-year deal is worth around $86 million, according to the NFL Network.
Bradford signing wouldn’t preclude the Cardinals from drafting a quarterback above the fourth round for the first time since 2006.
Bradford has a reputation for being a good teammate and could serve as a capable mentor to a younger quarterback.
The Cardinals were said to have interest in a handful of other quarterbacks, according to sources, including former Jet Josh McCown. Also hitting the market are former Viking Teddy Bridgewater and former Bengal A.J. McCarron.
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