—The Rams owe Bradford $27 million over the final 2 years of his contract. That’s not exorbitant for a starting NFL quarterback. So the only way you could restructure is with a restructure/extension. I just can’t see agent Tom Condon doing that in a year where Bradford is coming off an injury that forced him to miss more than half the season.
—I don’t know how often I can say this: The Rams aren’t releasing Bradford. They aren’t restructuring his contract (short of an accompanying extension, which I don’t think will happen.).
—Re-Signing Saffold? Two factors complicate this: 1.) A very small sample size of Saffold at guard. 2.) Saffold’s injury history. So I’m going to guess $5 million a year? And Saffold may want to shop around.
—Saffold a Ram Next Year? I’m going to say 35-65.
—Transition Tag for Saffold? Can’t see it happening, because the transition tag is pretty high: it was $8.7 million.
— Ogletree D-ROY? To be honest, there really hasn’t been much of a conversation for defensive rookie of the year. But I think he should be a strong candidate. He has really improved over the second half of the season.
—Bailey as #1 WR? We’ll see. He runs such good routes for a rookie. And his hands remind me of Torry Holt. He just plucks the ball out of the air. But we’ve got such a small sample size so far.
—Wells and Dahl Both Gone? I’m not ready to say that. Right now, if I had to speculate, I’d say one of the two will be gone. As for Barnes vs. Jones at center, the Rams feel Jones isn’t ready to play just yet. We’ll see what happens after an offseason to get bigger and stronger for Jones. Jones actually has gotten most of his practice reps at guard this season _ prior to Wells’ injury, that is. So he could very well end up at guard.
—Bailey Like Holt? Not to overhype the guys but I remember in training camp, Torry Holt thought Bailey reminded him of himself. I was very surprised to here that. I don’t think Bailey is as fast as Holt, but I guess there are some similarities including some of the stuff you are mentioning.
—Draft Another WR? That’s a very good question. And I’m sure one the Rams will think long and hard about it before the draft in May. Although the Rams will still be a run-first team next season, I certainly think they’ll throw more with Bradford back in the lineup. You need more than just a strong running game when you’re playing elite defenses. It looks like Bailey and Austin will be among the top three WRs to open 2014. Do they think Givens will progress or Quick progress enough to take that other spot in the top 3? That’s the question.
—Draft a QB? As we sit here right now, I’d say yes _ the Rams need to draft a QB somewhere in the middle rounds. It seems like Clemens has been around forever, but he’s only 30. He should have several playable years _ as you called it _ remaining. But Bradford has only two years left on his contract, and I really think they need to draft and groom a younger QB _ and keep 3 QBs on the 53-man roster.
—Rams Soft Coverage? As to your question, at least lately, a lot of those open receivers you’ve seen have come when the Rams have softened up their coverage with a lead. But overall, I’m seeing what you’re seeing. I’d like to see more press coverage, and more improved and instinctive play in zone coverage. Too often, I see Rams LBs and DBs in zone reading the quarterback’s eyes and not being tuned in enough to what receivers are doing in their area. The Rams need to upgrade their talent in the back end as well _ another starting caliber CB and a free safety with range.
—I think the only way Schottenheimer leaves is if someone hires him as a head coach. I don’t think Walton goes, either, not after one year. But as one of our chatters pointed out last week, I’m curious to see what happens if Jim Schwartz gets fired as head coach in Detroit. He was a d-coordinator for Fisher in Tennessee.