Should The St. Louis Rams Stay With Sam Bradford?


For the first time all season, last week when the St. Louis Rams played the Arizona Cardinals, I legitimately missed Sam Bradford. There is no question in my mind that he delivers a more accurate pass to Stedman Bailey, or somehow found a way to put the ball in the end zone at some point in the game.

While I have missed Bradford over the past year and a half, after last week’s game, I never truly appreciated what Bradford brought to the offense. The Rams need a long term solution at quarterback, and Bradford can’t seem to stay healthy. While I want the world for Bradford to succeed, Im also not sure if I want to go another year of Bradford getting hurt early in the season and with that the Rams playoffs hopes gone. Not to mention he is due $16-million next season.

Gregg Rosenthal of recently put together a piece of the top 11-teams that need a quarterback and the Rams were on that list.

"With each successive year, it becomes 50 percent harder to imagine Sam Bradfordas a legitimate “franchise” quarterback. This offseason will be particularly tricky with Bradford coming off his second torn ACL. The Rams have two fine backup options (Shaun Hill, Austin Davis), and an untenable contract for Bradford.The Rams could release Bradford or restructure his deal, but they need another option to start. A clean break might be best for everyone."

I do believe Bradford can be a “franchise” quarterback, but after two ACL injuries to the same knee, is he going to be able to come back from that and will he be even a glimpse of the same quarterback he was before the injuries? Its tough to say. Going into next season, the Rams need a better backup plan than Shaun Hill.

Hill is doing better than expected, working hard to help put the Rams in position to succeed on game day and his experience was needed when Austin Davis’ limitations became obvious following a Week 10 loss in Arizona. But Hill is 34 and is limited, making him a better backup than a full-time starter.

The Rams face a dilemma at quarterback in 2015.  As mentioned earlier, Bradford is set to count for $16,580,000 against the cap. No matter how much they still believe in Bradford, that’s too much money to commit to a player that hasn’t played more than half a season in two years.

We can’t make an emotional decision-Les Snead

Les Snead and Jeff Fisher have stated that they are bringing back Bradford next season, and as much as fans may or may not like that, it does make sense. Bringing back Bradford at a reduced would be ideal. There isn’t much in free agency unless you want the quarterback who has one touchdown in his last 29 drives, Brin Hoyer, an aging, injury prone Michael Vick or just simply injury prone Jack Locker.

The Rams have won seven games for the third year in a row, making it likely that they won’t be in contention for a Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston. It’s a little too late to #SuckForTheDuck. Unless the Rams want to pull off an RGIII-like trade of their own, getting one of the top two quarterbacks isn’t going to be likely. Aside from those two, there are a lot of projects and guys that won’t be able to come in and start right away.

The long-term solution may be in the draft, but as mentioned before, it won’t be someone who can come in and start right away. As much as some may hate it, the Rams only option at quarterback might be Bradford in 2015 and then letting someone sooner than the sixth round like a Brent Hundley, Bryce Petty, or Dak Prescott to sit behind Bradford and learn the game.

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In a situation like this it doesn’t make a lot of sense not to bring back Bradford on a better deal. If Bradford gets hurt and  the rookie is forced into action, at least with the rookie you have another option with upside. If Bradford isn’t the same quarterback that he was before the injury, you have a solid backup plan with potentially good rookie.

If Bradford plays well and the Rams have to make a decision whether or not to re-sign him for 2016 or if Bradford is outperformed by the rookie in came, then that is a good problem to have. Rolling the dice with only Bradford or only a rookie quarterback is too risky.

The Rams simply cannot go into the 2015 season with the same situation that they’ve been in the last two years. This team is going to go nowhere with guys like Kellen Clemens or Shaun Hill taking snaps. As bad as it might be, the Rams must be prepared for if/when Bradford gets hurt again.

In a quarterback oriented league, you need to have continuity and be solid at the position. It’s been easy to let Snead and Fisher off the hook the last two seasons with the Bradford injuries, but if they are unprepared for a third straight year, there will be no excuse.