Sam Bradford Made More Than $1.5 Million Per Game: With the first choice of the 2010 NFL draft, the Los Angeles Rams (then still in Saint-Louis) selected Sam Bradford. At the time, the choice made sense. The Rams needed a new franchise quarterback. Bradford had an impressive academic career in Oklahoma, which notably won the Heisman Trophy in 2008.
But in 2009, Bradford suffered multiple shoulder injuries. He only played three games for the Sooners before declaring himself for the 2010 draft. The Rams weren’t scared of potential injuries, but in hindsight they might have been.
During his career, Bradford finished with 19,449 passing yards, 103 touchdowns and 61 interceptions in 83 games. By earning just over $ 130 million from 2010 to 2018, Bradford earned more than $ 1.566 million per game. Going even further, he earned $ 1.25 million per touchdown, and each pass completed was worth $ 70,000.
So how did Bradford make so much money despite so many inconsistencies?
For starters, Bradford had impeccable timing. His rookie contract was worth six years and $ 78 million, with $ 50 million in guarantees. The contract actually had a maximum value of $ 86 million, making it the biggest rookie contract of all time.
The following year, the NFL signed a new collective agreement. The recruits’ salaries were compounded back. For comparison, Cam Newton – the number one choice in 2011 and also a potential franchise-changing quarterback – signed a $ 22 million contract over four years.
Despite his massive agreement, Bradford never recorded big numbers for the Rams. Although he won the offensive rookie of the year title in 2010, his best season at St. Louis occurred in 2012. He threw 3,702 yards and 21 career touchdowns. It was also the last time he played in 16 games.
In fact, over the next two seasons, Bradford only played seven games. He tore the ACL in his left knee in the middle of the 2013 season. Then he injured his same knee in a 2014 preseason game, missing all year.
The Rams traded Bradford for the Philadelphia Eagles before the 2015 season. Bradford had solid but not spectacular numbers on the road to a 7-9 finish.
The following year, the Eagles granted Bradford an extension of $ 36 million over two years. However, after swapping the draft to select Carson Wentz, the team suddenly stopped using Bradford. Philidelphia traded it to the Minnesota Vikings after Vikings starter Teddy Bridgewater tore up his LCA.
Bradford had the biggest season of his career in Minnesota. He completed a record 395 career passes and launched a career high of 3,877 yards. His 4: 1 interception hit ratio (20 touchdowns for just 5 interceptions) was also the best of his career. The team only finished 8-8, but it looked like Bradford might be on the verge of rebirth.
Minnesota opened the 2017 season on Monday night football. Bradford went 27 for 32 with 346 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Vikings to a win over the New Orleans Saints. The celebration was short lived, however. Bradford’s bald knee was acting again, and a knee scope revealed additional wear. He played just one more game before the Vikings put him on the injured reserve line, ending his season.
Undeterred by his injuries, the Arizona Cardinals awarded Bradford a two-year contract worth $ 20 million, including $ 15 million in guarantees for the first season. This agreement has proven to be one of the worst in the entire decade. Bradford played in just three games before being replaced by rookie Josh Rosen, and his numbers were terrible: 400 yards, two touchdowns, four interceptions and three fumbles.
The Cardinals finally released Bradford, but not before he made a ton of money. During his tenure in Arizona, he earned $ 5 million per game played, $ 7.5 million and $ 300,000 per completion. This season, which turned out to be Bradford’s last year of football, summed up his career very well. It has never lived up to the expectations that come with being a # 1 choice, although it has made the money you expect from a top-notch selection.
Consider this: Bradford teams have never released a winning record. He also never threw more than 21 touchdowns or 3,877 yards in a single season. Still, he still retired with $ 130 million – despite the inconsistencies, you could say he had a very successful career.