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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    Thursday & Long: Bradford Won't Sign Before Draft
    4/15/2010 10:49 AM ET
    By Dan Graziano

    Sam Bradford to the Rams with the No. 1 pick in next week's draft has the feel of a foregone conclusion, but it's still not without its potential complications. A source close to the situation told FanHouse on Wednesday that Bradford is "not doing a deal, period, until he is drafted."

    That would represent a change in recent trends. The last two No. 1 picks -- Matthew Stafford of the Lions in 2009 and Jake Long of the Dolphins in 2008 -- agreed to contracts before they were selected, as did Mario Williams of the Texans in 2006. The Raiders took JaMarcus Russell at No. 1 in 2007 without signing him beforehand, and that resulted in a complete fiasco in which Russell didn't sign until September.

    Now, that's not to say that Bradford, who appears to have both a brain in his head and an idea of how to order a salad, will turn out to be another Russell. But his refusal to sign a pre-draft deal does bring up some issues that indicate the Rams have a thornier issue on their hands than you may think.

    The main thing Bradford gains by not signing pre-draft is leverage. If the Rams take him No. 1, they have to sign him. Given the current, miserable state of their franchise, they can't blow the No. 1 pick. There's no way they could face their fans and say, "Sorry, we picked the franchise quarterback we needed, but he was asking for too much, so we didn't sign him." Bradford's agents (the same agents who represented Stafford a year ago) are determined to get him more than Stafford got (six years, $72 million with $41.7 million guaranteed), and they know their chances of getting it from the Rams will increase sharply after the Rams pick Bradford.

    None of this is news to the Rams, who have already exchanged figures with Bradford's agents and know what it's going to take to get Bradford signed. But the Rams' financial situation is murky, because the team is in the process of being sold, and so it's hard to say for sure whether they have the money it's going to take to get Stafford. Two sources close to the situation told me they believe the Rams have set aside money for the purpose of signing all of their 2010 draft picks, regardless of how the ownership matter plays out, but since nobody knows who's going to end up owning the team, it's hard to know for sure whether they're equipped to commit to Bradford as much as he's looking for.

    So, there remains a slim chance the Rams could pick somebody else, such as Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy, with the top pick. Either would be a good, safe pick and cost less than what Bradford is asking, but neither would solve the Rams' quarterback problem.

    There also remains a slim chance that the Rams could trade out of the No. 1 pick -- that a team such as the Seahawks or Browns, who still have QB needs and who rate Bradford ahead of the rest of this year's QB draft class -- could swing a deal with St. Louis for that No. 1 pick, allowing the Rams to fill another need in the first round, take somebody like Colt McCoy for quarterback in the second and stockpile picks to help rebuild at several positions.

    And that possibility speaks to one other reason Bradford may be refusing to do a pre-draft deal -- namely, that he doesn't want to be a Ram. Bradford has denied this publicly, which is what you'd expect him to do, but there are people around him who, as recently as last month, were hoping the Redskins would move up and take Bradford, since they liked the idea of him developing under coach Mike Shanahan.

    That doesn't mean, of course, that Bradford has anything against the Rams. It may just mean that he and the people around him really like Shanahan. The Redskins dream evaporated last week when Washington acquired Donovan McNabb from the Eagles, and with Shanahan no longer available as career mentor, St. Louis may be just fine with Bradford. But we do know that it wasn't his first choice, and so it may be that he wants to hang on and see if a better situation presents itself in the form of a more preferable team trading up.

    Either way, it looks as if there's still a bit of drama yet to play out around Sam Bradford, the Rams and the No. 1 pick in next week's draft -- even if it looks like a foregone conclusion.
    Take it for what it's worth. Best case scenario, we add another name to the list of those we can chuckle at if Bradford does, in fact, sign prior to the draft. But there are some interesting points in there (ie. leverage, etc).


  2. #2
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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    In my mind it's all speculation. The 2 sides are lining up their ammunition to make the best deal possible for themselves. The ownership situation appears murky to outsiders, but rest assured with the amount of money in play there is a clear path of funding in the Rams Front Office. There are sure to be some disagreements, but at the end of the day saner heads will prevail and putting fannies in seats will be the ultimate goal.

    Go Rams with Bradford!

  3. #3
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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    None of this is news to the Rams, who have already exchanged figures with Bradford's agents and know what it's going to take to get Bradford signed. But the Rams' financial situation is murky, because the team is in the process of being sold, and so it's hard to say for sure whether they have the money it's going to take to get Stafford.
    Nice editing from a "solid" source..... just sayin
    Steve

    What you see is what you get, but what you see depends on where you stand.

  4. #4
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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    I wonder when the "Bradford hates the Rams" articles will start coming out. It seems like they throw in Bradford doesn't want to play for Saint Louis every chance they get. What are "People close to Bradford", his cousin Tom? Bradford said without a hint of hesitation basically, "I never said that, who keeps saying this?" But people who want to create a buzz will always say it could have been fibs. Whic it could have been. I don't tihnk it was. Reports from Bradford's visit said he really enjoyed himself and was hanging out and cracking jokes with players from the Rams.

    Will he sign before the draft? I'm of the opinion of I don't tihnk so as well. I don't think contract negotiations will spill over into training camp however.

  5. #5
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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    Didnt stafford sign only 4 or 5 days before the draft.....Stuff happens, not a big deal

  6. #6
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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    I just don't understand the logic of: since Bradford wants to wait until after he is drafted to sign a contract, that means Bradford does not want to play in St. Louis. I guess I don't see the dots that media people love to connect.

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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    Most pre-draft deals come only a few days before the draft if not the day before the draft, so I'm not concerned at all. Besides, the longer it takes, the longer we might consider Suh with our first pick. Come on Sam, dig in your heels and want too much money, and let's go Suh, say you'll sign for last year's money!
    I believe!

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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    Quote Originally Posted by 3STL9 View Post
    Didnt stafford sign only 4 or 5 days before the draft.....Stuff happens, not a big deal
    i thought it was the night before the draft?

    i think the rams are holding out as long as they can to see what's going to be offered for this pick and whatnot. they are in no hurry and shouldn't be, the money isn't going to change, it will be ridiculous either way.

  9. #9
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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    IMO, I think there is a real possibility that Bradford may have preferred Shanahan over us. But I'm not fretting over it. Why?

    Think about it.

    If we were Bradford, wouldn't we want mastermind Shanahan coaching us up instead of Dick Curl?

    But, I think in the end, Bradford is going to be happy if we choose him, and will give us his best efforts.


    No worries.

  10. #10
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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Most pre-draft deals come only a few days before the draft if not the day before the draft, so I'm not concerned at all. Besides, the longer it takes, the longer we might consider Suh with our first pick. Come on Sam, dig in your heels and want too much money, and let's go Suh, say you'll sign for last year's money!
    Indeed. Any word out of the DT camps about a willingness or unwillingness to sign predraft?

  11. #11
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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    To me this kind of stuff is why a harder rookie cap should be in place, or even just a standard rookie contract like in the NHL. Also, no re-entry on draft for two years. Draftees should have absolutely no say what-so-ever on the team they go to. That is the purpose of free agency and not signing a deal past your first eligible year. When Eli dictated that he would go to NY, I instantly hated the guy and haven't like him since. You play for who picks you, end of story.

    EDIT: Also, I think Bradford will sign, even if it isnt before the draft. The Rams FO has said they aren't going to worry about getting a guy signed just to make sure he's signed. It will get done.

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    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post

    EDIT: Also, I think Bradford will sign, even if it isnt before the draft. The Rams FO has said they aren't going to worry about getting a guy signed just to make sure he's signed. It will get done.
    Famous last words.

    Have our outstanding RFA tenders signed yet?

  13. #13
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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    Famous last words.

    Have our outstanding RFA tenders signed yet?
    Have everyone else's?

  14. #14
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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    This piece is based on one source and its worth almost nothing.

  15. #15
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    Re: More rumblings about Bradford not signing before the draft

    All of these writers coming to the conclusion that Bradford doesn't want to be a Ram because he isn't signing a deal is ridiculous...yes obviously he may prefer one team over another but insinuating that he doesn't want to be a Ram...
    Isn't another (and more plausible) reason for the lack of bradford signing related to how the Rams handled Jason smith last year?

    The rams caved early to smiths demands so he wouldn't miss any time, bradfords camp knows that and will use it to leverage a better deal... why don't we hear an article about that?
    I hate sports writers lol

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