Through thick and thin, ‘till death do us part or whatever cheesy saying you want to use, the St. Louis Rams’ current power regime remains committed to Sam Bradford at quarterback. Though the man under center has shown promising signs at times, the fact that he’s coming off a torn ACL and hasn’t exactly lived up to an absolute albatross of a contract he holds makes the team’s dedication all the more curious.
Now clearly it would seem awfully contradictory to claim Bradford as the franchise QB when taking over the organization just two short years ago only to abandon him altogether, but that’s not what the Rams have to do.
As holders of the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the team has a plethora of options at its disposal. The Rams could obviously, first and foremost, use that pick on a man under center to build the franchise around, but recent comments from general manager Les Snead suggests that’s not happening. The GM told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday:
“As we’ve said, Sam’s our starting QB. And maybe that’s too way out of the box to take a QB that high.”
So that can be scratched from the list of draft possibilities for the Rams, but the more appealing option is trading down from the No. 2 overall selection and stockpiling picks just like the previous deal for Robert Griffin III provided the organization. This would allow the team to then potentially target a QB in the mid-to-late first-round, add him into the mix and groom him in case Bradford doesn’t pan out in the long run.
Can you say Aaron Rodgers 2.0?
Now clearly Bradford is no Brett Favre, but based on what the team is paying him he certainly ought to be. Giving him another chance to prove himself when healthy with his slew of young weapons is probably wise considering how rare true franchise quarterbacks are, but it’s clear Bradford is far from a bona fide pillar of the organization at this point. It’s the contract that makes this decision so difficult to understand, however.
If ever there was a team with the ability to start fresh that already has the makings of a young juggernaut aside from the quarterback position, the Rams are it. They have the youngest roster in the NFL which figures to only get even more so this offseason, and cutting ties with one of the primary players weighing down their current salary cap wouldn’t hurt the team at all in the long run.
Far be it from me to tell the Rams how to run their organization, but this seems like a can’t lose situation. Though they progressed from 2-14 to 7-8-1 and 7-9 in the past to seasons, their recent stagnation in mediocrity suggests that a difference maker is still needed. In a world where persistence and dedication to a cause is growing rarer by the hour, it’s admirable that Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher are sticking with their man. What isn’t going to be so praise-worthy, however, is when both of them are unemployed thanks to Bradford’s inability to lead the team to the promised land.