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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    The Daily Bernie Bytes: Why Bradford Isn't A Lock

    03.30.2010 10:30 am
    The Daily Bernie Bytes: Why Bradford Isn’t a Lock
    By Bernie Miklasz


    Good morning…

    With so much Sam Bradford hysteria swirling, I thought it might be interesting to go the other way. While I believe Bradford is well on track to be the Rams’ pick (No. 1 overall) on April 22, let’s identify reasons why things could change.

    1. A trade down. In the words of Rams’ GM Billy Devaney: “Every man has his price. If some team wants to pay a king’s ransom for the pick, we’ll listen.” The Rams have many holes. They need players. They’d benefit from having extra, premium choices in what’s been touted as a deep draft. This is another reason why the Rams were so thrilled by Bradford’s excellent showing on Pro Day; the display only enhanced his value. Is trading Bradford a realistic option? Well, probably not but …

    2. The Washington Redskins have the 4th overall pick and seem to be keen on Bradford. They seem to want him. At least that’s the buzz out of Washington. And has been for some time. Based on his history in Denver, new Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan isn’t shy about taking a chance to get a coveted quarterback. In Denver he did business with the Rams, trading up a few spots to draft QB Jay Cutler in 2006. (The Rams ended up with CB bust Tye Hill.) And then there’s Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. He’s among the most aggressive NFL owners. He does not hesitate to be bold, or to throw money around. If any owner would push for a high-stakes trade to snatch that No. 1 overall pick from St. Louis, it’s Snyder. And if the Rams have any thoughts about dealing the pick, their unease would be comforted by having to slide down to Washington’s Np. 4 spot. The Rams wouldn’t want to move too far down in the first round. Would the Rams be happy to take, say, Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen with the No. 4 overall pick? I don’t sense a lot of excitement at Rams Park over Clausen, but he’s yet to have his official visit and sitdown with Rams’ folks in St. Louis. BTW: The Redskins are hosting Bradford on April 14.

    3. Suppose Bradford really, really wants to play for the Redskins? And why wouldn’t he? I mean, seriously. If you’re Bradford, who would you want in charge of your development: Mike Shanahan or Rams QB coach Dick Curl? Moreover, Mike Shanahan’s offensive coordinator is his son, Kyle Shanahan, who last season coordinated the NFL’s top passing attack (in terms of total yards) in Houston. Who would you want to play for: a team that’s close to contending, or a team that’s 6-42 over the last three seasons? Who would you want to play for: a financially elite franchise with a secure future and locked-in owner or a declining franchise that’s being sold, is in transition, and does not have a long-term owner in place? Please. I wouldn’t blame the kid if he wanted to go to Washington. And then there’s this: the esteemed Dr. James Andrews, who performed surgery to repair Bradford’s AC joint in the right shoulder, is on Snyder’s payroll as a Redskins medical consultant. OK, would

    * 3A. If Bradford really, really wants to play for the Redskins, his agent Tom Condon could try and pull a John Elway. And you youngsters may be wondering, what the heck is a ‘John Elway,’ anyway? In 1983, the woeful Baltimore Colts had the first overall pick in the draft. Elway, the Stanford QB, was the acclaimed, sure-fire No. 1 overall pick in the ‘83 draft. Elway’s agent warned the Colts ahead of time: don’t draft me, because I’ll never sign with the Colts. Baltimore drafted Elway, anyway. He resisted signing. Tempestuous, hard-drinking Colts owner Bob Irsay quickly grew impatient and traded Elway’s rights to Denver for a mediocre package that did include one good player, offensive tackle Chris Hinton. Obviously, the deal was a disaster for the Colts. Elway may have been able to save the franchise for Baltimore. Instead, Irsay’s blunder only intensified the Colts’ fan unrest, which made it easier for him to bolt to Indianapolis. If Condon really wants to play hardball, he could, in theory, make the Rams nervous enough to consider trading down. Heck, there’s even a more recent example: Eli Manning. He wanted to be a NY Giant. He didn’t want to play in San Diego. The Chargers drafted him No. 1 overall, anyway, in 2004. The Giants took N.C. State QB Philip Rivers with the No. 4 overall pick and the teams swapped QBs in a post-trade draft.

    4. What if the Rams have serious concerns over their ability to sign Bradford? Bradford’s contract strategy already is the topic of brewing of speculation in NFL circles. There’s chatter that Bradford will refuse to sign a deal with the Rams before the draft. If Bradford doesn’t sign in advance, he gains leverage — because the Rams would be under the gun to get their franchise QB into a routine as soon as possible to maximize his rookie-year development. If Bradford held out a long time — even as far as holding out from training camp — it would be a public-relations nightmare for the Rams. Condon, the best in the business, will understandably attempt to get the Rams to overpay Bradford to get an early signing. Suppose the Rams balk and decide that, as much as they like Bradford, they can pivot out of the No. 1 slot and still benefit from an windfall of extra picks acquired in a trade? If the Rams are legitimately worried about reaching a timely contract agreement with Bradford, wouldn’t that be another reason to trade down?

    (In a somewhat related note, some may be wondering: wouldn’t Bradford lose money if he’s the No. 4 overall pick instead of going No. 1 overall? In theory, yes. But Condon would argue for the “Quarterback Premium,” which is basically how Matt Ryan received No. 1 overall money (close to it, anyway) from Atlanta despite being the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft.)

    5. What if there’s late anxiety/concern over Bradford’s right shoulder: Look, he checks out great. Bradford should be just fine. But the Rams can’t be sure — no one can –until Bradford actually takes a huge hit and gets slammed around in live, full-speed action. That’s still the X Factor in all of this. Devaney has to be a little anxious about the worst-case scenario: turn down an offer for Bradford, draft him No. 1 overall, and have the shoulder crumple as soon as the kid gets driven to the ground by some runaway blitzer. Is that fear enough to give the Rams a reason to reconsider?

    Again: I still believe Sam will be the man for the Rams … I have not changed my opinion.

    But nothing is absolute. Nothing is 100 percent.

    So I wanted to provide some alternative-view thoughts.

    Thanks for reading…

    -Bernie


  2. #2
    Truth's Avatar
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    Re: The Daily Bernie Bytes: Why Bradford Isn't A Lock

    The only real point in the mess written by Miklasz is this, what if Bradford doesn't want to go to the Rams? The FO better make sure they've got a lock on this guy if they're dead set on drafting him #1. This organization cannot afford to lose both Bradford and Suh because they didn't do their homework.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

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    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: The Daily Bernie Bytes: Why Bradford Isn't A Lock

    The only thing I agree with here is that Bradford isn't yet a lock.But only Bernie, who never misses a chance to stir up the Ram fanbase with silly nightmarish hypotheticals & cynical re-openings of old wounds (the Cutler/Hill thing) , could spin Bradford's good workout yesterday into a possible negative.The Rams' hand just got stronger by any sane assessment.

    Even if you assume that Bradford undergoes a radical persona change and/or gets advised to play such dirty hardball, why would he want to go to Snyder/Shanahan's Redskins ? Snyder is "bold" ?! Snyder is like some teenage Madden player with a Richie Rich wallet. His approach has earned The Redskins just 3 winning seasons in the last ten & cost him umpteen million.Personnel-wise, the offensive unit is a mess; OT Samuels is retired. Randle El is gone. Portis is on his last leg. Santana Moss, going into his 9th-10th year, is on the downside. They have Cooley, Fred Davis and Malcolm Kelly on offense .And there's ole'Haslett about to take his own outdated & half-baked wrecking ball to the defense.If I'm Bradford & worried about surviving my first couple years on a struggling team, I'd rather not face The Giants, Cowturds, and Beagles twice a year each while the entire O and D gets rebuilt around me, thank you very much.

    Even the discombobulated Rams beat the Skins year before last & probably should have beaten them last year. This is no elite franchise. They are only on tv because of the other NFC East teams they play.

    Yes, Shanahan has a great rep but it rests pretty firmly on the shoulders of Elway, not the other way around, imo.And it's a pretty dusty old rep like another Snyder savior, Joe Gibbs. Who do you think has a more of a rep among young players like Bradford; Spags or Shanahan?

    This smacks of the kind of disinformation/mud that Devaney has recently described as part of the pre-draft silly season. Bernie couldn't have taken the bait more energetically if it had been a krispy creme.
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -03-30-2010 at 04:16 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: The Daily Bernie Bytes: Why Bradford Isn't A Lock

    The Redskins close to contending? Oh, that's rich. Sure, their offensive line is in shambles, their receiver corps has disappointed, and their last season was so bad they decided to clean house on both their coaching staff and front office. Otherwise, who wouldn't want to play for them?

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