Sam Bradford’s Week 3 benching could be more costly than you might assume. While his deal includes a $10M signing bonus, and now fully guaranteed $5M base salary, it also carries $312,500 for every week he’s on the Cardinals’ active 46-man roster. If Arizona drops Sam to 3rd-string, and makes him a healthy scratch going forward, he’ll miss out on $4,062,500. It’s very possible, maybe even likely, that Bradford requests his release in the coming weeks should Josh Rosen perform well enough to remain the starter.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury puts the 49ers in a very difficult spot: Do we replace him with a proven starter and continue to try to push up the standings, or live with our current regime and hope for the best? From a trade standpoint, Tyrod Taylor in Cleveland, Robert Griffin in Baltimore, or even recently acquired Teddy Bridgewater with the Saints make a bit of sense. While Matt Moore, E.J. Manuel, Ryan Mallet are currently street free agents with starting experience. From a financial standpoint, Garoppolo stands to forfeit $650,000 in per-game roster bonuses for the remainder of 2018, but will still reel in $41.35M for the season. His $17.2M base salary for 2019, and $15.7M of base salary for 2020 are guaranteed for injury, barring any unfortunate setback to his ACL going forward.
Le’Veon Bell is officially on the trade block, which should be of no surprise to most at this point. But the likelihood that a team will give up an asset to pay Le’Veon Bell what now amounts to $11.9M of his remaining tag, seems bleak. Sure, there may be a “wink-wink” agreement in place, that the team who acquires him now will have already agreed to a long-term extension in March. But because that contract won’t be official, Bell’s reluctance to “max-out” or even be a major contributor on the field in 2018 won’t change, regardless of where his name appear on the roster. It’s most likely, in my opinion, that Bell stays the course in PIttsburgh, returns in mid-November, and plays out a final hurrah with Ben & Brown, before hitting a market that will be ready and willing to dish out the dough. Should a trade be considered though, there are currently 10 teams with enough cap space to fit Bell's remaining salary, notably the Colts, 49ers, Texans, & Jets.
Earl Thomas’ ability to hold out of everything, then show up on Sunday and dominate the secondary over three weeks has been nothing short of great. Say what you will about his public outcries, and financial demands, but the 29-year-old is still a force on the field. The Seahawks’ nice win in Dallas Sunday, combined with the 49ers QB loss puts Seattle in an interesting spot going forward. What was on track for an awful season now has a chance to be decent - but Thomas is a big part of that recipe. With an expiring contract, and daily demands for money or a trade, something will give here in the next week. Dallas & Kansas City big favorites to land Thomas if it comes down to it.
Based on recent circumstances, it appears that there will be 10 quarterbacks under the age of 25 starting by next week. The average/median age is now under 29 years old, while the average salary for the starting QB is $15.5M (making Tom Brady’s $15M below average). 22 of these QBs were drafted in the first round, 3 in the second, 2 in the third, 2 in the fourth, 1 in the 6th, 1 in the 7th, and 1 was undrafted.
|Week 4 Proj. Starting QB||Draft RD||Age||Average Salary|