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  1. #1
    shower beers's Avatar
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    Bulger Requested Release

    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    04/06/2010

    For weeks — no, make that months —quarterback Marc Bulger kept his mouth shut and went about his business. He knew in all probability that his tenure in St. Louis was over but didn't raise a stink as the Rams sorted through their options at the position.

    But after Sam Bradford's boffo pro day performance March 29 at the University of Oklahoma, Bulger contacted Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo. His message? Please let me go.

    One week after Bradford's pro day, Bulger got his wish. The team released Bulger, the two-time Pro Bowler, on Monday — his 33rd birthday. The timing seems odd because all along it was assumed that the Rams would wait at least until the first day of the draft to release Bulger.

    Then again, with the No. 1 overall pick, who are the Rams bluffing? No one can select ahead of them in the draft. And after Washington's Easter Sunday trade for Philadelphia QB Donovan McNabb, the Redskins lost their status as the team most likely to trade up to No. 1.

    So with only A.J. Feeley, Keith Null and Mike Reilly now under contract at quarterback, it seems overwhelmingly obvious the Rams will take a QB in the draft. In fact, they could be ordering that blue-and-gold Sam Bradford jersey right now at Rams Park.

    "I can't speak for the Rams," said Tom Condon, the St. Louis-based agent who represents both Bradford and Bulger. "Obviously, Sam Bradford's a very highly regarded player and I'm certain that the Rams have a lot of interest in him."

    If not Bradford, who? Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen in an upset? A trade down and selection of Colt McCoy of Texas? Those seem to be the only non-Bradford options, however remote.

    Knee-deep in draft meetings Monday, Spagnuolo and Rams general manager Billy Devaney issued only statements on Bulger's release.

    "It is always hard to part ways with someone you care for and appreciate," Spagnuolo said. "I was fortunate as a first-year head coach to have Marc on our team. I will always be indebted to him for his work ethic, character and leadership. We wish him and his family nothing but the best."

    Bulger was on hand for the first day of the team's offseason conditioning program at Rams Park, and was in the building as recently as late last week. But he knew this day was coming, and had known it for quite some time.

    After taking over for Kurt Warner on a permanent basis in 2003, Bulger led the Rams to the NFC West championship that season. The team also made the playoffs in 2004.

    But as the losses mounted, the talent level around him nose-dived. Head coaches and coordinators came and went over the succeeding seasons, and Bulger shouldered much of the blame for the team's declining fortunes.

    "I would like to thank Marc Bulger for his professional attitude," Devaney said. "Since I arrived in 2008, Marc showed leadership on the field and in the community. We appreciate all that he has done and we wish him the best."

    The combination of Bulger's declining production coupled with his big contract made him impossible to trade. He would've been due $8.5 million in base salary in 2010, as well as $9 million in 2011, $9 million in 2012 and $11.5 million in 2013.

    Now that he has been released, that contract is void and Bulger is free to negotiate a new deal with other teams.

    Condon told the Post-Dispatch he has "absolutely no concerns" about a market developing for Bulger elsewhere in the NFL.

    "Marc's very well-regarded in the league," Condon said. "He's intelligent, he knows where the ball's supposed to go, and he's very accurate. It's just a matter of getting together with Marc and seeing what he wants to do."

    Some of the potential destinations for Bulger have dried up since the start of the offseason. Denver traded for Brady Quinn, Arizona signed Derek Anderson, San Francisco added David Carr, Cleveland signed Jake Delhomme and Seattle traded for Charlie Whitehurst.

    Chicago, where former Rams head coach Mike Martz is now the offensive coordinator, could be the most logical destination for Bulger, where he would have to go in as Jay Cutler's backup.

    Martz is thought to be open to the possibility of working with Bulger. Bulger still credits Martz with most of his development as an NFL quarterback, although by the end of Martz's tenure in St. Louis (in 2005) Bulger had grown weary of Martz's hard-driving style. But that was five years ago.

    Another possibility could be Pittsburgh, Bulger's hometown, where starter Ben Roethlisberger is facing legal troubles and a potential league suspension because of allegations of sexual assault.

    Bulger did not return a phone message Monday, but Condon expressed gratitude to the Rams for how they ultimately handled Bulger's situation.

    "I think the Rams have some very strong feelings about him," Condon said. "They like him as player and person. But they thought considering the current situation that this was the appropriate thing to do."


  2. #2
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    Re: Bulger Requested Release

    The plot thickens...

    But seriously, it's nice to be a part of a classy organization. I'm truly proud of that and I'm glad that there's no bad blood between Bulger and the Rams.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    VegasRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bulger Requested Release

    Feel the same way Varg - glad to be a fan of a class organization again - IMO not the case for 30 odd years.

    I also find it interesting that Marc's "$65M" Contract ended up being around $25M total, which when you think about it is pretty fair, (if you spread it out over his 9 yrears of service, and abuse-lol).
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

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    Re: Bulger Requested Release

    Releasing a guy is both tough and distasteful, especially when it involves a guy who has had a successful run with that team. There are countless examples in every sport of guys who left their original teams with bad feelings because it was not handled correctly. Sometimes the team handled it poorly and impersonally, and sometimes the player simply has sour grapes. It is never easy on either party.

    One hopes that a team can tactfully release a player, wish him well and move on. And it appears that the Rams went about it the right way here. By releasing Bulger now, they honored his wishes for a release while giving him a longer window to find work (which of course, he will). Plus, with the same agent representing Bulger and Sam Bradford, it certainly didn't stand to help the Rams by stringing Bulger along- if in fact they end up drafting Bradford.

    I wish Bulger well. He will land on his feet and probably be productive.

  5. #5
    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Bulger Requested Release

    the title says Bulger requested release..but i dont see that in the article...

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    Re: Bulger Requested Release

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblin` Ram View Post
    the title says Bulger requested release..but i dont see that in the article...
    I'll help ya out

    But after Sam Bradford's boffo pro day performance March 29 at the University of Oklahoma, Bulger contacted Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo. His message? Please let me go.

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    Re: Bulger Requested Release

    I like how all of sudden everyone is so sympathetic of Marc Bulger after all these years of people trash talking on Bulger. Wish him the best on hope he revives his career elsewhere.

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    Re: Bulger Requested Release

    Quote Originally Posted by cfh128 View Post
    I'll help ya out
    haha..thanks..damn my bourbon eyes!!!

  9. #9
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    Re: Bulger Requested Release

    Goodbye Bulger !! I wish you best,,as long as its not in the NFC West

  10. #10
    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Bulger Requested Release

    Quote Originally Posted by AlwaysBackwards View Post
    I like how all of sudden everyone is so sympathetic of Marc Bulger after all these years of people trash talking on Bulger.
    everyone agrees on nothing..other than perhaps how great a player Jax is..
    maybe those who wanted him out for so long dont feel the need to add anymore now that their long term wishes have finally come true..

    me personally i was never a big Bulger supporter or "hater"...i just dont feel that strong about individual players anymore...i want the players that are best suited to drive our chariot to victory and to do so with integrity and class.

    thats not to say i don`t appreciate every players efforts to honour the horns regardless of how productive they are tho..as long as the effort has been there they have my best wishes when they leave..

  11. #11
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Bulger Requested Release

    Quote Originally Posted by AlwaysBackwards View Post
    I like how all of sudden everyone is so sympathetic of Marc Bulger after all these years of people trash talking on Bulger. Wish him the best on hope he revives his career elsewhere.
    Sympathetic? No. It's called good grace. Despite the criticism leveled at Bulger over the years, many of us feel compelled to nonetheless acknowledge his years of service by wishing him well and treating his release with the same class he displayed through good times and bad. There is nothing hypocritical about that. It's simply tactless to dredge up the negative at this time.

  12. #12
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    Re: Bulger Requested Release

    Reported on Sirius NFL---Agent says Bulger being released was a perfect birthday present.

    I think this might be a little overstated. Will Bulger land with any team prior to Draft day? What are the chance he will be a starter? He will probably end up being a back-up somewhere, and earning less than his contract guarantee in St. Louis.

    Is there a commitment in the Ram's org to start Bradford no matter what? Otherwise, this does not really seem 'perfect' to me.
    A defeated look of consternation, dissappointment, or even pain. The name derives from the look one often gets when challenged by a large BM.

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    Re: Bulger Requested Release

    Quote Originally Posted by AlwaysBackwards View Post
    I like how all of sudden everyone is so sympathetic of Marc Bulger after all these years of people trash talking on Bulger. Wish him the best on hope he revives his career elsewhere.
    Excatly, I have been a bulger fan for a while. I would love to see him go to a new team and take their ass to the Superbowl. I wonder what all the Bulger bashers would have to say then.

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    Re: Bulger Requested Release

    That Bulger had little to do with it probably.

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