All of the Sam Bradford apologists out there would have you believe that the quarterback has been playing with below average talent and less than sufficient weaponry for his entire career with the St. Louis Rams. But the fact is that just isn’t true. Bradford has been provided with serious upgrades on the offensive line and at the receiver positions since general manger Les Snead and Jeff Fisher arrived. Bradford just isn’t the player the Rams thought they were getting with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, and it seems like they are finally starting to come to terms with that idea.
With recent reports from Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports suggesting that the Rams “have absolutely no intention” to extend Bradford’s contract, fans everywhere should rejoice rather than mourn this development. The fact that Bradford will be coming back from a torn ACL in 2013 is reason enough to be happy that the team isn’t rushing into a new deal with the QB, but the idea that he has seemingly shown zero improvement despite the talent level rising around him is even more reason for skepticism of his long-term viability as a solution under center.
Statistics are misleading, but Bradford’s resume really is quite self-explanatory. From 2010 through 2013 he has a career passer rating of just 79.3 in the old system, not the new-fangled QBR scale. That particular metric is even more indicting of Bradford’s woeful play as his 40.7 QBR is well below what is considered the mark of “average” play at 50. Below average quarterback play with a ridiculous contract that is set to carry a cap number of $17.6 million in 2014 and $16.5 million in 2015 is absolutely asinine. Compounding that kind of mistake by forking over more guaranteed money Bradford clearly hasn’t earned would be very unwise.
If stats don’t yet have you convinced, how about something that matters more to most football fans: Wins and losses. Bradford clearly fails by this metric as well with a career record of 20-28-1. Though some of that poor record falls on the organization’s inability to surround him with talent at the onset of his career, his own ineptitude has resulted in the middling records in each of the past two years with a 7-8-1 mark in 2012 and a 3-4 mark when he was injured in 2013.
Reports from Pro Football Talk back when the Rams were trying to re-sign Bradford in September indicated that the team wanted to buy low on the QB when team COO Kevin Demoff said: “We’ve decided Bradford is our guy. If they wanted to do a contract extension, we would do it.” These words hint that it was Bradford’s representation balking at an extension, and that may have been due to the low amount of money the Rams were willing to offer.
With the team in salary cap purgatory as the free agency period nears, getting Bradford off the books permanently instead of restructuring his albatross of a contract would be a much smarter move. Franchise quarterbacks don’t exactly grow on trees, but signal-callers like Bradford are a dime a dozen in the NFL. St. Louis may finally be coming to this realization not a minute too soon.