There have been highs & lows for Sam Bradford since entering the NFL and becoming the franchise quarterback for the St. Louis Rams. However, not enough good moments mean that the team isn’t going to give him an extension with two years still left on his deal, while releasing him and going in a new direction is still an option.
The Rams went 3-4 in 2013 before Bradford hurt his knee, ending his season and undergoing surgery which he is still recovering from. Some think that with a healthy Bradford, who when healthy has made the Rams competitive in a very difficult division despite his lackluster offensive line, the Rams might have even made the playoffs this season, or at least gotten a lot closer to it.
With two years left on his massive rookie deal (the last of its kind) the Rams are thinking about offering him an extension, but that doesn’t really make sense. He has $27 million owed to him in the next to years, not to mention a $17.6 million salary-cap hit for 2014. Right now, he is expected to return as their starting quarterback as the Rams give it one final go in what has been mostly an unsuccessful period for them with him. However, releasing him isn’t out of the question.
Bradford, the number one draft pick in 2010, has already been paid his guaranteed portion of the contract. The Rams can cut him loose now and go relatively unscathed. But that only happens if they think someone special they can build on is coming out of this draft. The team has been doing a nice job building the defense and the offensive line over the last three years, and heading into turmoil with a new quarterback doesn’t exactly sound like a patent on winning.
Bradford completed 60.7% of his passes for 14 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in 7 games last season, pretty much the best numbers of his career, including his best passer rating, yards per game, interceptions and touchdown ratio. The signs are showing that he’s headed in the right direction.
The question is whether or not this injury is only a temporary setback or something that’s going to hurt his career and take him two or three step backwards. The Rams have been patient so far, but they don’t have time for Bradford to find himself again. If they don’t feel he can perform at the same level right away, maybe cutting him loose and going with someone else is the best option for them.