Cardinals fans should be closely monitoring whether Sam Bradford makes it through the team’s physical exam.

It might be the best pass he has all year.

Within their division, the Cubs will probably have a tougher fight against the Brewers and Cardinals than they did in 2017. Both teams improved significantly this offseason, but probably not enough to upend Chicago even before the addition of Darvish.

The touchdown rate will regress toward the mean, though, and Richardson might very well be built to excel within the never-ending plays and scrambling of the Russell Wilson universe.

Of his six touchdowns, four came after Wilson held onto the ball for four seconds or more.

Nobody else in the league had more than two such touchdowns, and that was only true for four other receivers.

Injuries are also a concern, given that Richardson’s left knee has been through a torn MCL and two torn ACLs.

In a market in which teams seem desperate to overpay midtier wide receivers, though, Washington is giving the 25-year-old Richardson a five-year, $40 million deal with $20 million in guarantees.

Instead, the Mariners will go forward with what they have. The starters will be backed by a bullpen that now features Juan Nicasio and a full season of David Phelps, which should help. The formula had better work. Because of the tumbleweeds on the farm, it will be extremely difficult for Dipoto to make a meaningful upgrade should the Mariners find themselves in relative contention near the trade deadline. Even reaching that point may be a tall order, given the overwhelming strength of the Astros and the fancy new toys of the Angels.

If the Mariners don’t contend this season, Seattle may be looking at a long rebuild. Cano is coming off his worst offensive season by OPS+ since 2008. Hernandez’s performance is declining, and all the mileage on his body may be showing. Neither one is getting any younger. Nelson Cruz is in the final year of his contract. The only meaningful help on the way may be in the form of Kyle Lewis, who has lost time to a bad knee injury and has yet to play above A-ball. If the Mariners are in the middle of the pack come July, they’ll be at a crossroads.

QB Drew Brees, Saints Grade: B There was never any realistic likelihood of Brees leaving the Saints, given that the 39-year-old and his family have been settled in Louisiana for more than a decade, and he finally got some defensive help last season. ravens_153

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