Saturday night when Sam Bradford went down against the Browns, the Rams were very optimistic that the injury wasn’t a big deal. Early reports showed no damage to his left ACL, the one he torn in Week 7 last season.
Then came morning, and optimism turned to concern, as a MRI showed he had re-torn his ACL. News spread like a wildfire, and support, mourning, and prayers were sent to Bradford, and a silent sorry to Rams fans. Now, as a possible breakout star this year sits the bench, and a team who was expected big things, is now in ruin, for the most part.
The injury means three things: 1) Bradford’s contract 2) The Rams campaign this season 3) What do the Rams do with their future?
Lets break it down…
1) Sam Bradford was one of the last rookies to sign a deal under the old CBA, which allowed the Rams to give him a 6 year, $78 million contract. It included the largest amount of guarantee money given to a rookie ever at $50 million. The contract hasn’t payed off at all. He’s been injured (duh) for two seasons, and has never taken his team to the playoffs. The Rams need to seriously look at their cap situation, and could have a very different outlook next season.
2) This leads into this season, and if the Rams could be relevant this year. The answer is no. Especially in the rugged NFC West. The Rams will start Shaun Hill Week 1 against the Vikings. Hill is defiantly one of the better backup QB’s in the league. The Rams claim that they will start him, see how he does, then possibly make a deal. This is the right decision. Hill has a great team around him. The Rams defense is fierce, like every other defense in this division. The Rams added Kenny Britt, and have a up&coming running back in Zac Stacy. If Shaun Hill can play well, the Rams can have a decent season. I wasn’t very high on the Rams anyway, and this will defiantly drop them in my NFL Prediction Column, which is coming, but I’m not sure when.
To counter, if the Rams don’t like how Shaun Hill looks or plays, they could swing a deal. Names that have swirled include Kirk Cousins, Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. Let’s get Tebow out the way first. He landed a role as a analyst for ESPN’s new network, SEC Network. Who knows how much he is getting paid, but it has to be the next best thing for him. He claims he hasn’t gave up his NFL dream, and is in the best shape of his life, reportedly. If the Rams would offer Tebow a contract, he would take in a heartbeat, but overall, Tebow isn’t going to get offered, giving what else is possibly on the table.
The Rams, if needed, will probably trade for a QB. This is more likely. Kirk Cousins, Mark Sanchez, Ryan Mallet are the most likely names for the Rams to ask for. The best fit would probably Sanchez, since he was with the Rams OC Brian Schottenheimer in New York. The real question is if Sanchez would want to reunite with him, and if the Eagles get what they want for Sanchez. It sounds like the Eagles price for Sanchez is hefty. They could be asking a 2nd or 3rd round pick for him. That is a hefty price tag. It’s kinda ridiculous. Ryan Mallet the Patriots QB, who’s name was floated in trade rumors throughout the Spring and throughout the Draft, is another possible candidate. Mallet has sat behind Tom Brady since 2011, and hasn’t played. I believe he will get traded at some point. The Patriots seem like they don’t plan on him being there when Tom Brady retires, especially after drafting Jimmy Garoppolo this year. Mallet, if needed, should definitely be considered by the Rams.
The name that makes the most sense, and the name that will probably end being a Ram if needed is Kirk Cousins. Another QB who’s name was rumored in trade talks, Cousins is the most ready out of all the names. He’s got the most talent. I seriously think he could end up on the Rams. To counter, I’m not sure how willing the Redskins would be to give him up. He is Robert Griffin III’s backup, and since RG3 is very injury prone, the price tag will be hefty. The report that he is outplaying RG3 in practice is very believable. I don’t doubt he is, but the weight that Redskins face on playing Cousins resides on what they gave up for RG3. You can’t do that. I try not to bring up the trade much, because it was completely lopsided so far, and inspired a movie. Even Joe Theismann believes Cousins should be playing. And honestly, Kirk Cousins, it may not be this season, or with this team, but Cousins will start for a team in this league, full-time, at some point.
3) The Rams could easily cut Bradford after this year. You would have to think the they would consider it. Move on, and get yourself a QB of the future. (Or you trade for one) This Rams team is stacked right now, and it is such a disappointment that Bradford went down. It would suck to see them ditch Bradford and start over at QB. That could take time. Serious time. Time that some of the star players on this team don’t have. If the Rams are really bad this year, they could take a QB with a high pick. If they are good, whether they trade for some one or not, it could turn into a situation like the Bears last year, where the backup plays better than the starter. But I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t happen with Shaun Hill.
So what ends up happening? Nobody knows. If the Rams make a move for someone, I think they cut Bradford in the Spring. They develop whoever they trade for, and hopefully won’t waste many years on it. Bradford is a good quarterback. Should he be cut, he would be a hot commodity. Multiple teams would try to sign him. Some as a starter and some for a backup.
Sam Bradford suffered what is a absolutely devastating injury Saturday. The Rams, Rams fans, the league all suffered a big loss yesterday. The Rams organization has to be thinking about his and their future, or else the Rams may walk into some trouble next season.