Longtime Vikings offensive starter could be out of a job next

Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury
Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

Following the report of the Minnesota Vikings releasing running back Alexander Mattison, could center Garrett Bradbury be the next guy on his way out of town?

Despite a disappointing performance from him in 2023, some Minnesota Vikings fans were caught a bit off guard when ESPN's Adam Schefter shared the news on Thursday that the team is releasing running back Alexander Mattison after five seasons with the franchise.

Moving on from Mattison will reportedly create $3.35 million in cap space for the Vikings, as they were able to part with him before a guarantee in his contract kicked in on March 15.

After the news of Minnesota's plans to release the veteran running back was revealed on Thursday, it got some people thinking about another veteran member of the team's 2023 offense who could be let go in the near future.

Will Garrett Bradbury be the next veteran cut by the Minnesota Vikings?

Similar to the guarantee that was going to be locked in on March 15 in Mattison's contract, current Vikings center Garrett Bradbury also has a trigger in his current deal that could result in the team cutting him before the start of free agency.

On March 15, Bradbury's base salary of $4.65 million will become fully guaranteed, according to OverTheCap.com. His contract isn't exactly super expensive, but he hasn't exactly performed well during his tenure with Minnesota, either.

In 2022, Bradbury actually finished with the 11th-best offensive grade from PFF among qualifying centers in the NFL. This past season, however, that PFF offensive grade dropped down to 23rd among qualifying centers.

Even if Bradbury's contract is deemed affordable, the Vikings could still use the money they would save from cutting him to bring in a better-performing center.

There are a number of intriguing centers who are expected to be available in free agency this year, including Connor Williams, Andre James, and Lloyd Cushenberry III.

All three of these pending free agents received an offensive grade from PFF in 2023 that ranked 10th-best or better among qualifying centers. In fact, a total of six centers who are expected to be available in free agency this year all earned a better offensive grade from PFF last season than Bradbury.

Minnesota is already parting ways with Mattison, so it's clear they weren't happy with their rushing attack last season. Could Bradbury, who had PFF's 21st-best run block grade among centers in 2023, be the next player the Vikings look to move on in order to improve their run game before the 2024 season?