I've heard rumors that the St. Louis Rams have a franchise quarterback, but there's no real evidence to support this notion.
Remember the last time you saw Bradford in an NFL game? Remember the last time you felt good about watching him in an NFL game? It's becoming more and more difficult to jog the mental Rolodex.
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Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, has been a disappointment. Yet somehow, the Rams haven't learned that they cannot rely on him. Consequently, a team with a legit defense -- a defense spearheaded by a front four that gives opposing QBs nightmares -- continues to fall further behind the juggernauts in the NFC West.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch penned an article on Monday that brought Bradford back into the forefront of our minds. According to Thomas, the Rams are looking to restructure Bradford's deal to make it more manageable. Bradford is due a whopping $12.985 million in base salary in 2015. That's an untenable amount for a quarterback who didn't take a snap last year. Bradford, in the third game of the preseason, tore his ACL -- the same ACL he tore just 10 months prior. Of the Rams' last 32 games, Bradford has played in seven. Three of his five NFL seasons have been significantly injury-hampered.
So, yes, it's easy to say that Bradford needs to take a pay cut. He isn't worth that kind of money in the final year of his rookie deal. But frankly, I don't think Bradford should be on the roster at all.
When it comes to the game's most important position, the Rams continue to rely on a dangerous word -- potential -- instead of focusing on reality. This clouded judgment has curtailed the team's upside over the past three seasons. Don't get duped again, St. Louis!
Sure, getting Bradford to shave half his salary -- or convert some of it into bonuses -- would be one way to go. But spoiler alert: I can tell you how this movie goes. Bradford flashes impressive raw tools -- and, yes, potential -- on the practice field. He wows teammates with his work ethic. Then, when the real action begins, he's erratic in the pocket and has trouble staying on the field. And ... scene!
I know it. Everyone knows it.
The best thing for St. Louis would just be to cut bait and move on. The Rams need a clean break, and they'd create valuable cap space by releasing the oft-injured player. This isn't a difficult decision. Say goodbye to Bradford. Hold a press conference. Thank him for always being classy. And then drive him to the airport and begin the search for a veteran quarterback.
Among the quarterbacks currently set to hit free agency, I'd focus on Brian Hoyer. On a lower scale, St. Louis could consider Mark Sanchez or Matt Moore. Not the most exciting list of names, I know. How about making a trade? Chad Henne has plenty of experience and is set to hold the clipboard behind Blake Bortles in Jacksonville. Kirk Cousins has shown flashes in his Redskins tenure, and he shouldn't cost more than a Day 3 pick. But the most enticing trade target to me would be Mike Glennon. I've repeatedly stressed my belief in the young signal-caller, yet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers don't seem to share my enthusiasm -- and they're almost certain to spend the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft on a QB.
Wait, what about the draft?
I'm glad you (I) asked.
So the Rams took Greg Robinson with the No. 2 overall pick of the draft. Would Blake Bortles have made more sense? How about a trade down to acquire more picks? Teddy Bridgewater, who enjoyed a solid rookie year, was the final pick of the first round. Derek Carr, who shows plenty of promise as a potential franchise quarterback, came off the board with the fourth pick of the second round. Were there ways to get creative and land one of those two? Should St. Louis have picked Jimmy Garoppolo or Tom Savage over Lamarcus Joyner? Zach Mettenberger, anyone?
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The larger point is simple: There were talented quarterbacks available in the first three rounds last year, and the Rams ignored them all. That's a shame. St. Louis did eventually select Garrett Gilbert, the 14th and last quarterback taken in the draft. In related news, the Rams cut Gilbert from the practice squad in October.
By passing on a QB in last year's early rounds, the Rams have put themselves in this unenviable state. In St. Louis, at the position that defines football teams in 2015, uncertainty abounds. But one thing is clear: