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Thread: Stop the Crazy Trade Bradford Talk ..

  1. #1
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    Stop the Crazy Trade Bradford Talk ..

    By Howard Balzer
    Published: December 28, 2011 @ 1:29am

    Please, stop the madness now. Letís not spend the next four months debating whether the Rams should select a quarterback with their high pick in the 2012 draft and trade Sam Bradford.

    These rumblings were being heard over the last several weeks, but gained traction when Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden said if a new coach was hired by the Rams they would have to give serious consideration to finding a better quarterback than Bradford. Gruden, of course, specifically mentioned Stanfordís Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III of Baylor.

    Itís hard to tell whether Gruden really believed what he was saying or if he was tweaking fellow analyst Ron Jaworski, who is high on Bradford. Following Grudenís comment, Jaworski lauded Bradford again, and Gruden had that sly, Chucky grin on his face.

    Since Gruden said what he did, the trade Bradford bandwagon has grown. When I mentioned on 101 ESPN the other day how this shouldnít even be discussed, a text came in that said ďthree draft expertsĒ with pay sites were advocating a draft Luck, trade Bradford scenario.

    Well, then, that settles it. Of course, those draft sites probably never heard of the salary cap. But, salary cap ramifications aside (and Iíll get to that in a moment), the idea makes no sense on a basic talent evaluation level.

    While Luck, and even Griffin, are the flavors of the month, if all three were in the draft at the same time, Bradford could very well be rated as the best of the bunch. At the least, it would be a good debate.

    So, believing that the evaluation would be very close, why trade a quarterback that already has 26 games under his belt, has shown his ability and that you have already invested $30 million?

    Iíd love for someone, anyone, to give me a compelling reason why this would make any sense at all.

    As for the salary cap, a Bradford trade on or before June 1 would mean a $14.4 million dead-money cap charge for the Rams. If he was traded after June 1, the hit would be $3.6 million in 2012 and $10.8 million in 2013.

    On the roster in 2012, Bradford counts $15.595 million against the cap and his base salary is $12 million guaranteed. The final three years of his contract are worth a total of $36 million with $8 million of his $9 million 2013 salary guaranteed.

    While the $14.4 million hit isnít that much different than his cap charge on the roster, that would still be dead money for a player no longer on the team.

    It can be also argued the Rams would have less leverage trying to trade Bradford because of those high salaries.

    However, they would likely have significantly more leverage as the draft approaches to make a deal as teams start falling in love with the incoming class and the lower salaries they will command compared to Bradford.

    The new, hard rookie pool resulted in quarterback Cam Newton, this yearís first overall pick, receiving a four-year contract worth a shade over $22 million. Newtonís signing bonus was $14.5 million and his base salaries are $375,000; $1.376 million; $2.377 million and $3.378 million. There is an option for the fifth year that has to be exercised after the end of the third year, but most high picks that prove worthy will likely sign contract extensions before they ever get to that fifth year.

    With the overall salary cap expected to be very close to the 2011 total of $120.375 million, the rookie contracts will also be very similar to 2011.

    Assuming Griffin enters the draft, the Rams should be in an excellent spot to build around Bradford with extra choices, even if they wind up with the second pick in the first round.

    If the Rams lose to the *****, they canít pick any lower than second. The scenarios:

    Rams lose, Colts lose to Jacksonville: Colts pick first, Rams second.

    Rams lose, Colts win: Rams pick first, Colts second.

    If the Rams win, it doesnít matter what the Colts do. Win or lose, Indianapolis would pick first. However, the Rams would pick third if they win and the Vikings lose to the Bears, which would give Minnesota the second selection.

    This assumes the Rams donít make up a five-game differential in strength-of-schedule percentage with the Vikings, which is unlikely.

    If the Rams pick second, either the Colts will select Luck or trade the pick to a team that wants him. The Rams would still be in position to swing a deal with a team that wants Griffin, if he is rated that high and there are no other highly-rated quarterbacks. Currently, Cleveland, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay have four wins, while Miami and Washington have five. Itís conceivable the Browns, Dolphins and Redskins would be in the market for a quarterback.

    Obviously, the best result would be for the Rams to have the first pick. That could lead to a double trade down. Trade with Indianapolis, if they want Luck, and do the best deal you can for moving down just one spot. Then, deal the second pick in what would hopefully be a sellerís market to multiple teams that desire Griffin.

    That should provide a collection of picks this year and in future years that will fill several of the holes on the roster and improve the offense around Bradford. Whatever the package, itís probable that it would be more than the Rams would acquire for Bradford.

    So, end the debate. Please.
    bradwill and jackson3909 like this.


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    Re: Stop the Crazy Trade Bradford Talk ..

    That settles it! Agreed no more crazy talk about Bradford!!!
    Flippin' Ram likes this.
    LA RAMMER

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    Re: Stop the Crazy Trade Bradford Talk ..

    Whenever I hear the average person say that Andrew Luck is the next Peyton Manning, I can't help but laugh maniacally. I swear he's laughably one of the most overrated prospects, not to bag on Luck but he looks more like a Matt Ryan clone and his potential ceiling is low compared to RGIII. If you've seen his throws, he struggles to get a good zip on them as well as make consistent deep throws.

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    Re: Stop the Crazy Trade Bradford Talk ..

    They said the same thing about Bradford before he was drafted, he was going to be the next Peyton Manning. What makes Luck any different?

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