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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    07/05/2007

    There aren’t many good quarterbacks in the NFL. Marc Bulger clearly ranks among the great ones.

    So, yes, Bulger is going to collect top dollar on his next contract, one way or another.

    There is no debate here. Bulger is a rare commodity. So the Rams should just do the right thing and lock him in to a long-term contract extension.

    If Bulger plays out the final year of his four-year, $19.1 million contract, his value will only grow. He is comfortable with Scott Linehan’s offense, which exploits his passing accuracy and does a good job protecting him.

    He has terrific weapons at his disposal and he plays behind a maturing offensive line. He is almost certain to post large numbers this season.

    Pat Kirwan of NFL.com made the Rams front office wince by suggesting "Tom Brady money" -– about $60 million over six years -– wouldn’t be an unreasonable price for Bulger.

    “Marc Bulger passed for over 4,300 yards last season to go along with 24 touchdowns and only eight interceptions,” Kirwan wrote. “That's the same number of touchdowns as Brady, with four fewer picks. Does he deserve a Tom Brady contract? The market keeps going up, but Tom Brady money?

    “Probably, but he might have to go elsewhere to get it in 2008. The Rams love their QB, but I suspect the club and the player reps really can't see eye to eye on contract value right now. If both sides wait to play out the season, one side is sure to be quite disappointed.”

    We’re guessing Bulger wouldn’t be the one with a sad face. The Lions have Jon Kitna at quarterback and Mike Martz running their offense.

    Don’t you believe Mad Mike would ask the Lions to go “all in” for Bulger if he hit the open market in ‘08? Don’t you believe the Lions would take that plunge?

    Jon Kitna will be a solid quarterback in Detroit this season, but he won’t deal the way Bulger can deal week after week after week. If Bulger heads toward free agency, Mad Mike will struggle to control his drooling.

    Let’s look at this way: Which NFL quarterbacks are better than Marc?

    Brady and Peyton Manning are the top guys, obviously. They post consistent numbers and they win the big games.

    Drew Brees and Carson Palmer might be the next two in the pecking order, based on their big playmaking ability and their growth potential.

    Donovan McNabb is in the Top Five, too, although he has suffered tremendous wear and tear while trying to will the Eagles to greatness.

    Matt Leinart and Philip Rivers might some day have similar value, but both are still in development.

    Tony Romo, Alex Smith, Rex Grossman, Jay Cutler and Vince Young may have tremendous futures, too, but they haven’t defined their real value yet.

    Ben Roethlisberger? He was on his way to greatness before The Crash. Now we’re not so sure. He got picked off 23 times last season. Twenty-three!

    Matt Hasselbeck? He’s pretty good, but he makes more mistakes than Bulger.

    Jake Delhomme? If you like gunslingers, you love Jake . . . but he hasn’t been nearly as consistent as Marc.

    Byron Leftwich? He has lots of potential, but much of it has gone unrealized.

    Brett Favre? Once upon a time, he ranked atop the league. But he hangs too many passes into traffic.

    Eli Manning? Please. His career may be heading south instead of north. The Giants may soon wish they had Rivers instead.

    Daunte Culpepper? The Dolphins have gone years without a top-flight quarterback, so if they want to dump this young man . . .

    Michael Vick? He is sure fun to watch dart around the field, but we’re not even sure he can actually play quarterback at this level.

    Steve McNair? Great guy, tremendous leader, borderline Hall of Famer -- but not quite a Bulger-caliber quarterback in the autumn of his career.

    Chad Pennington? Smart quarterback, but he lacks the arm to zing the ball into tight places the way Bulger does.

    Damon Huard? He did a fine job as a fill-in last season. Now let’s see if he can lead a team for 16 weeks.

    David Garrard? See Huard.

    Trent Green, Mark Brunell and Jeff Garcia are at the end of their runs. David Carr and Joey Harrington have become rebuilding projects. Jake Plummer retired prematurely after failing in Denver.

    Through the process of elimination, Bulger’s value becomes clear. He has very few peers in the NFL.

    And consider the intangibles: His rapport with Linehan, his chemistry with Torry Holt and Co., his emerging leadership skills, his toughness, his work ethic and his general reliability.

    Many NFL coaches come and go without having this sort of quarterback running the show. What Bulger does can’t be taken for granted -– and it won’t be in ’08, should he hit the market as a free agent.

    The Rams have no choice but to pay up.


  2. #2
    helorm341 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    Yep, this article says exactly what I feel:

    The Rams have no choice but to pay up.

    We keep hearing in articles that they're getting together, or have gotten together or are close to a contract. I sure hope this gets done soon. I don't want Bulger getting even a whiff of free agency

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    In their defense, it is still early and they've been busy with other things until recently. Nevertheless, I'm also anxious to get this done.

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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    If the article's title implies that the Rams didn't want to buck up for him, I don't understand why they wouldn't want to. He deserves the money, get him the money. It is as simple as that


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  5. #5
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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    6 years $46 million w/ incentives to bring it up $52 million
    with
    $19 million SB

    Smaller than Brady & Manning but more than some of the elite QB out there.
    Nuff said.
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    before the battle of Tupiero Do
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  6. #6
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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    Bulger's agent has a good working relationship with the Rams and Marc seems very comfortable and content in St. Louis, so I find what Kirwin is saying hard to take seriously. Regardless, we need to get this done. The offense may go through Jackson, but Bulger is the key and too valuable to let get away.

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    I think it's going to take more that 52m over 6 years. Brady's deal plus inflation would not be unreasonable.

    He can not be allowed to leave. Period. Nobody wants to go thru anymore ChandlerBanks type football.

    They need to make a real good offer and He needs to take it. Otherwise..."Franchise Player"

    I am confident this will get done shortly, perhaps during training camp.

    Maybe someone should start a contest of what the contract will be!
    Semper Fi!

  8. #8
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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    10 mil a year was the going rate for top tier, playoffs every year QB's or very fast and nimble RB's who can throw the ball really really hard(Hi Michael!). Since Bulger isn't quite one yet, I think that with inflation he'll go for about 10.5mil a year. If they don't sign till after the season, then it goes to 12 or even 12.5.
    Last edited by TekeRam; -07-07-2007 at 01:02 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    As a free agent last season with moderate health issues and only one playoff appearance to his name (a loss), Drew Brees got a six year $60 million deal from New Orleans. Granted, that deal includes a large option for this year to protect themselves in case Brees didn't recover, but Bulger should get at least that from the Rams based on what he's been able to do with this franchise. The only way Bulger should be getting offers of under the $10 million a year average is if he's agreed to take less than fair market value to help the team.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    ya bulger,has it all, with good off-line will break reccords
    give him the dough!
    Last edited by orbitram; -07-09-2007 at 02:30 AM.

  11. #11
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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    Bulger is a top Five QB.

    He doesn't get the National Press and he' s not a Media Darling; however, NFL GM's know of Bulger's value.

  12. #12
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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Soprano View Post
    NFL GM's know of Bulger's value.
    That's a very scary thought, especially if the Rams don't get him locked up.

  13. #13
    dolphan117 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    No question someone is going to pay Bulber but if Culpepper wins his hearing (scheduled for the 18th of this month) and we are forced to cut him for violating the terms of his contract I could see you guys snapping him up in a heartbeat. Would make a heck of a lot of sense from all perspectives, Pep would get to reunite with a coach and a scheme he knows he can play well with and the Rams would probably get a former pro bowler for very low base pay with incentives that would kick in only if Pep starts and plays well. They would have all this season to evaluate Pep before having to make a decision on whether to extend Bulger or keep Pep and make him the guy.

    Low risk high potential reward.

  14. #14
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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    Dolphan, first off, welcome aboard. Always glad to have fans from other teams dropping by.

    On Culpepper, if he is going to be a 2nd string anyway, why not just stay in Miami. Or at least go to a team where he would have a chance to start. I get the Linehan connection, and granted, he hasn't been the same since separating from Linehan. But at 30 years old, if he wants to get back on the field, why wait behind another 30 year old who's entrenched at the position in St. Louis.

    Unless, of course, the assumption is the Rams won't pay for Bulger.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  15. #15
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    Re: Rams have no choice but to buck up for Bulger

    Quote Originally Posted by dolphan117 View Post
    No question someone is going to pay Bulber but if Culpepper wins his hearing (scheduled for the 18th of this month) and we are forced to cut him for violating the terms of his contract I could see you guys snapping him up in a heartbeat. Would make a heck of a lot of sense from all perspectives, Pep would get to reunite with a coach and a scheme he knows he can play well with and the Rams would probably get a former pro bowler for very low base pay with incentives that would kick in only if Pep starts and plays well. They would have all this season to evaluate Pep before having to make a decision on whether to extend Bulger or keep Pep and make him the guy.

    Low risk high potential reward.
    Anything is possible I guess, but why would the Rams want to bring Culpepper in and risk alienating their franchise quarterback? It would send all the wrong messages and certainly wouldn't help in any contract negotiations with Bulger. No one likes to be strong armed.

    Culpepper is not the same Pro Bowl quarterback he was after the injuries and is on the decline. Minnesota had no problems letting him walk and Miami wants no part of him as well. His attitude leaves a lot to be desired to boot.

    IMO, Culpepper is a high risk, low potential reward option.

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