Posted February 17, 2014

Will Rams extend Sam Bradford’s deal?

NFC South, St. Louis Rams
Sam Bradford compiled a 90.9 QB rating in his six-plus games prior to a knee injury.

Sam Bradford compiled a 90.9 QB rating in his six-plus games prior to a knee injury. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Sam Bradford was on his way to smashing career bests across the board statistically in 2013, so perhaps if he had stayed healthy the Rams would have left the debate about his future for later.

But Bradford blew out his knee in Week 7, ending his season. Oh, and more to the point, the Rams own two first-round picks (including No. 2 overall) in a draft with several intriguing QBs and Bradford set to cost more than $17 million against the ’14 cap. So what’s a team to do?

One option potentially on the table is a contract extension to alleviate some of that cap hit. Bradford has two years and $27 million remaining on his current deal. CBSSports’ Jason La Canfora says that the Rams “are open” to adding years to Bradford’s contract in exchange for reducing the massive cost for 2014. (La Canfora concedes, though, that a longer deal would “surprise” many.) Such a move likely would be similar to the reworked deal Baltimore and Terrell Suggs agreed upon Monday, which runs through 2018 – Suggs reduced his 2014 cost by $4 million in exchange for $16 million in guaranteed money over the next couple of seasons.


Simply cutting Bradford would leave $7.2 million in dead money on the Rams’ books spread over the next two seasons, but it would save them more than $10.4 million this season.

To boil this all down to its simplest form: Is it better to keep Bradford and try to add some more talent around him with the extra first-round pick; or to move on from Bradford, replace him with one of the draft’s top QBs and put that extra spending money toward bulking up the roster elsewhere?

Bradford’s performance last season could push the Rams toward door No. 1. In six-plus games prior to his injury, Bradford threw 14 touchdowns to just four interceptions, with a 60.7 completion percentage and 90.9 QB rating. That final number was the 11th-best in the league last season, just behind San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick and ahead of Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and others.

Of course, Kaepernick’s performance — not to mention that of recent Super Bowl winner Russell Wilson — might help make the argument against keeping Bradford. Both the 49ers and Seahawks have been able to stockpile talent throughout the roster in part because of the bargain-basement prices their quarterbacks have been carrying. Though those salaries will skyrocket in the near future, the benefit of turning down that path is obvious.

The Bradford conundrum is the main reason the Rams are such an unknown variable in the 2014 draft. They could use the No. 2 overall pick on a quarterback, receiver, offensive tackle or Jadeveon Clowney, plus are in prime position to trade down should they decide to stick it out with Bradford.

12 comments
RamsNewsNow
RamsNewsNow

Cutting Bradford with the hope of getting a replacement in the later rounds like SF/SEA did is a horrible idea.  It would be a gamble taking any of the projected 1st round QB's this year....none of them are sure things.  The history of late round QB's being successful is dismal. For every Brady, there is 100 busts.  The Rams themselves have said Bradford's contract is not an issue.   They'll see how it goes this year and then decide about an extension at the end of the year.

http://www.Rams-News.com

ballhawk2925
ballhawk2925

"Simply cutting Bradford would leave $7.2 million in dead money on the Rams’ books spread over the next two seasons, but it would save them more than $10.4 million this season."


If they designate him to be June 1 cut, the $7.19 million in dead money would be spread evenly over the next two seasons, but they would actually save $14.105 million in cap space this year. If it's a regular cut, all the dead money would count against the cap this year and they would save $10.42 million. (By the way, they can cut him before June 1 but designate him a June 1 cut. The Rams would just carry the full dead money cap hit until June 1.)


These numbers are from Over the Cap.

ken.burnside
ken.burnside

If they cut Bradford, they're cutting an upper-half NFL QB and hoping that the lack of talent around him will somehow make a newly drafted QB a star?  No, I don't think Snead and Fisher are that dumb.

I think this is trying to lure trade-bait out for that #2 pick.  As a Hawks fan, the thought of a DE rotation of Quinn, Clowney and Long makes me shudder.  If I were a Cards fan, it'd make me wonder how long Carson Palmer wants to be able to walk...

So I'm hoping they do trade down. :)  So are most Rams fans. 

xwagner76
xwagner76

Nice kid. Not going to mature into an elite NFL QB. Face the music, bite the bullet, do the deed now: the Rams need a real QB. There's no way around it. After a solid front line, a decent QB is essential. And Sam is not our boy. We. Need. A. New. QB.


NFL_Madness
NFL_Madness

I absolutely believe they should because the last couple years, he has been on target, just his receivers haven't caught the ball.

James22
James22

@ken.burnside  Upper half? I think they should keep Bradford, but he is not "upper half". Here is a list of quarterbacks that are probably more valuable than Sam Bradford today:


In no particular order (actually, ordered by division):

Peyton Manning

Philip Rivers

Alex Smith

Andrew Luck

Ben Roethlisburger

Joe Flacco

Any Dalton

Tom Brady

Ryan Tannehill

Colin Kaepernick

Russell Wilson

Drew Brees

Matt Ryan

Cam Newton

Aaron Rodgers

Jay Cutler

Matthew Stafford

Eli Manning

Tony Romo

Nick Foles

RG III


To get Bradford into the "upper half", he must be no worse than 16th in the NFL, which means he must be ahead of at least six of the players in that list of 21. I think he is behind all of them, 22nd in the NFL, and could be even lower depending on how people feel about the likes of Carson Palmer, Jake Locker, etc.

J Diddy
J Diddy

@James22 @ken.burnside  You're out of your mind James. Let me cross a few names off your list: RGIII, Foles, Romo, Stafford, Newton, Tannehill (seriously, were you drinking when you put that name on there?), Dalton, and Smith.


None of those guys have proven a darn thing more than Bradford at this point. You have to compare apples to apples, and the bottom line is that 90% of the guys you've listed have WAY better supporting casts than Bradford does. He's absolutely in the top half of the league's QB rankings.


What do you think Sam would do with Roddy White and Julio Jones or Megatron instead of Givens and Austin Pettis?