The Vikings will have continuity in the middle of their offensive line for the next few seasons. Minnesota has reached an agreement to retain center Garrett Bradbury, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). His colleague Ian Rapoport tweets that the new deal is worth $15.75MM over three years.
Bradbury entered the league with considerable expectations, after he was drafted in the first round following a strong college career. His level of play early in his NFL tenure, however, left plenty to be desired and left his Minnesota future very much in doubt. The team declined his fifth-year option last spring, which would have made him a free agent tomorrow in the absence of this new deal.
The 27-year-old has been a full-time starter throughout his career, one which saw him earn consistent but underwhelming PFF grades for three straight seasons. He took a step forward in that regard in 2022, though, generating an overall rating above 70 for the first time. Overall, he ranked 11th in the league amongst qualified centers, giving the team optimism that his ascent will continue.
The NC State product made it clear on multiple occasions that his desire was to remain with the Vikings. He will now get his wish, and give the team a familiar face at the position at a reasonable AAV, compared to other, generally older, options at the position around the league. Retaining Bradbury marks a more long-term commitment on the Vikings’ part than the one currently in place with their starting quarterback.
Signs are pointing to Kirk Cousins playing out the final year of his current contract in the absence of an extension. That will no doubt lead to speculation about the team’s plans under center, but regardless of who is in place at the quarterback position for the short-term future, Bradbury will be a constant on the offensive line.