The Cardinals giving Sam Bradford up to $20 million this year to play football seemed strange, because Sam Bradford seldom plays a full season of football.
But the Cardinals gave themselves some degree of cover, in case Bradford does what Bradford so often does.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the two-year, $40 million deal Bradford signed with Arizona includes $5 million this year in per-game active bonuses.
That’s a cool $312,500 and change every time Bradford is well enough to get a uniform for the Cardinals this year, and far different from the initial reports that pegged its value at $20 million a year since no reasonable person expects Bradford to play all those games.
Bradford played two games last year because of what was termed a “degenerative” knee problem by Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. Bradford has played all 16 games exactly twice in his career (2010 and 2012). Bradford declared that his knee “feels good” upon signing, and it’s possible that that proves everything is relative.
Bradford also got a $10 million signing bonus and $5 million in guaranteed base salary this year, so he’ll make $15 million regardless. Which is still a lot for Sam Bradford, who is a barely over .500 (16-15) even if you throw out the Steve Spagnuolo and Jeff Fisher years in St. Louis (which you should).