Sep 26, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) walks off the field during the second half against the San Francisco 49ers at the Edward Jones Dome. San Francisco defeated St. Louis 35-11. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Bradford Is Holding The Rams Back

Oct 20, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) reacts in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

For starters, I will first say that I have been a Sam Bradford supporters for the longest time, and will continue to be a Bradford supporter until he is no longer on the team. As a fan, that’s what you do, you support the players, good or bad.

However, that does not take away from the facts. The fact that the Rams haven’t had a winning season under Bradford and the fact that Bradford has spent the majority of two seasons injured. It is definitely frustrating, especially coming from a number one pick.

When you look at team’s like the 49ers and Seahawks who were seen as being a step or two behind the Rams three years ago and are now making Super Bowl runs, it can be mind baffling.

In all honesty, the Rams got unlucky with Bradford, he was the best quarterback in what turned out to be a terrible draft class for quarterbacks e.g Jimmy Clausen, Tim Tebow, and Colt McCoy.

Not only that, but Bradford was the last number one overall pick that got an outrageously high rookie contract. Bradford signed a six-year, $78 million deal, which had $50 million of guarantees and a maximum value of $86 million making it the largest contract ever for an NFL rookie.

To say the least Bradford has never lived up to that contract, and because he signed that contract, people have been extra critical of him. After all he is getting paid more than both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning next season.

The very next year after the Rams chose Bradford, the rookie salary cap was put in place. Cam Newton, the Panthers number one overall pick, signed a four-year deal worth over $22 million, about 25% of what Bradford’s was worth.

Now you look at the Panthers and and the Rams, and the Panthers won their division and were two games away from the Super Bowl because they don’t have an outrageous cap hit to deal with.

Once again we’ll take a look at the Seahawks and 49ers. The Seahawks will have to pay Wilson $817,302 next season and the 49ers are paying Kaepernick $1,630,454. Because their quarterbacks aren’t getting paid as much, the 49ers and Seahawks are able to re-sign their players and are able to bring in free agents that could help the team.

Yes, Wilson and Kaepernick’s pay days are coming, and when that time comes, both team’s will pay the price. However, in a win now league, it is definitely worth it, and that’s exactly what both team’s will do, they will win.

With team’s overpaying their quarterbacks, it’s very difficult to build a team around that quarterback. The Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots have experienced that, and the Denver Broncos are about to experience it with the free agents that they could lose this offseason.

Teams with the elite quarterbacks can get away with the big cap hits, because they are making the players around them better. Bradford just isn’t at that level.

Two years ago when the Indianapolis Colts released Peyton Manning, it may have been a blessing in disguise. With Manning’s cap hit, the Colts were not able to fix their team that had so many issues.

The Colts decided to let Manning go and draft a quarterback with just as much upside in Andrew Luck and have to pay him 20% of what they would have had to pay Manning.

Because of that the Colts haven’t missed a beat and very well could be championship contenders as soon as next season.

This upcoming year Bradford will be the seventh highest paid quarterback in the NFL, and luckily enough, the Rams have the third lowest cap number to spend this offseason, making it very difficult for a team ready get to the next level, make that jump.

The Rams need to re-sign offensive tackle Rodger Saffold and would probably like to add a few players in free agency. With a cap hit like Bradford’s it will be very hard to do so and they will have to make the difficult decisions elsewhere on the roster.

This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if Bradford was earning his money, but he quite simply, has not. He has spent the majority of two season’s injured and has yet to lead the Rams to a .500 record or better.

As in everything else, the Rams ran into some bad luck with Bradford who has been a victim of bad circumstance. The Rams will have to go with Bradford until the end of his deathly contract and then decide if they want to stick with him for the long term, which as of now it looks like they do. Until then Bradford will continue to hold this team back.


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  • cesarnoel

    I do believe they will restructure Bradford’s contract or they will likely extend his contract to provide cap relief. Kevin Demoff has done wonders in terms of managing the salaries of players.

  • Gary Stewart

    well as previously discussed there is no advantage to a restructure of bradfords contract because the 6 mil they could save this year would have to be given back next year thats been the dallas cowboy way they extend everything out and kick the can down the road. so they remain in cap hell for years and years if the rams just ride out 2014 they cut dahl finnegan and wells resign saffold get a good draft then the cap hit of bradford and chris long drops 12 mil in 2015 (the year quinn will have to get paid). if bradford does well this year then the rams will extend him and sam gets paid, if not it wont hurt nearly as bad to cut him in 2015 as it would to cut him this year

  • pc

    Nearly every article I read knocks Sam Bradford. Sam is not the problem. The Rams are slowly building a contending team. To ditch Sam now would be 1. stupid, 2. stupid, 3. stupid! And I do not think Fisher is stupid.
    The receivers have finally started catching! The run game is developing with Zac Stacy. The offensive calls need to be geared to the strengths of the players and the hurry up offense needs to be used more often. Sam will do very well this coming season and a whole lotta crow will need to be consumed by all the naysayers!!

    • Blaine Grisak

      In no way am I saying the Rams should ditch Bradford, I am a huge Bradford supporter like I said. The Rams have something going and I do believe Bradford can take them to the next level, this season will tell a lot

  • Calvin G Suddeath

    Here we go again.Another “it’s Bradford’s fault” story.Dude!Give it a rest!!!

    • Blaine Grisak

      For starters, this is, correct me if I’m wrong, the first Bradford “hate” story that we have ever posted on here. And Im not blaming Bradford as much as I am his contract and bad circumstances. Its a proven fact that its difficult to build a team with a contract as big as Bradford’s and when you don’t have results to back up the big paycheck, its frustrating, and there is no denying that.

      • Calvin G Suddeath

        And for seconds,per Demoff and JT of the PD,his contract is a non-issue and it’s the media types that are making it a issue.

  • SurfinUSA

    I’ll be glad when the Rams trade Bradford so I won’t have to read gripe-a$$ articles like this anymore. Rams writers are the biggest whiners in the world. Once Bradford gets good receivers and decent blockers around him, he will put up Brees’ like numbers.

    Reading the story I don’t take away that the writer is a big Bradford fan. Go get an unproven Johnny Football hot shot that is a flash in the pan, pay him chump change and be happy. Bradford got the going rate contract, the Rams haven’t been squawking about paying it so what does it matter to you?

  • ramfan1975

    Bradford only threw for 13 touch downs in 6 games yeah he is definitly the problem. The rest of the team was the problem.defense was playing like crap(because of a rookie DC).running back was just starting to come along, and special team was playing like crap at the time too! Sammy was playing well!

    • Blaine Grisak

      Im not saying that Bradford is the problem, Im saying his huge contract is the problem, not once did I bash Bradford’s game specifically. The Rams are so limited in what they can do and the moves they can make because Bradford, a quarterback who hasn’t produced consistently, which I believe he can do if he continues to play like he did last year, is taking up a large amount of their cap space.

      The fact that he has spend the majority of two seasons on the bench doesn’t help the team determine where is his in the offense and help them decide his future with the team.