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Thursday Bernie Bytes: McNabb-Rams, Bradford,

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  • Thursday Bernie Bytes: McNabb-Rams, Bradford,

    Thursday Bernie Bytes: McNabb-Rams, Bradford,
    By Bernie Miklasz

    Good day …

    A special welcome to St. Louis to one of my favorite broadcasters — for decades … the classy Mr. Verne Lundquist. He’ll be calling the Midwest Regional games on CBS with his partner Bill Raftery.

    Let’s begin:

    * The Donovan McNabb to STL rumors were entertaining but humorously transparent. It doesn’t require a great deal of intelligence to figure out what the Philadelphia Eagles are up to here: the Iggles are trying to create, and enhance, a trade market for McNabb. And someone (presumably) inside the Philly camp used the Rams as a convenient advertising billboard by floating a baseless rumor. In this instance, the speculation that had McNabb coming to the Rams for the No. 33 overall draft choice and safety O.J. Atogwe. And why the Rams? Several reasons. First of all, the Rams need a quarterback. Second, the Rams have the goody-goody draft picks to pull off a trade for a QB. Third, there’s the Philadelphia-STL coaching connection, with Rams boss Steve Spagnuolo and OC Pat Shurmur having been a part of coach Andy Reid’s staff in Philadelphia. That connection would lead folks to believe that the Eagles and Rams have a bond and therefore can swing a deal of this magnitude. Fourth, McNabb knows the Rams’ guys — which means, in theory, that he’d have some level of comfort in coming here. Fifth, the Eagles want a No. 1 draft choice for McNabb. And in an attempt to get that, they need to draw potential trade partners out of the shadows by giving the impression that the Rams have offered the top pick of the second round (that No. 33 overall). So if a team wanted McNabb, they’d have to ace the Rams out by topping the Rams’ offer. Reid is understandably trying to use his ol’ pals in St. Louis to generate business on the McNabb front. Which is a smart play. Except that Reid and the Eagles may have been a little to obvious here.

    *The Rams’ attention is focused on Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford. I can’t entirely rule out the Rams as a potential suitor for McNabb, but that would come later. Not now. Here’s why: the Rams will watch Bradford throw on March 29 and he must pass that test and show that the velocity is there after minor shoulder surgery. And then the Rams want Bradford to throw again in a private workout, to check him out a final time before the draft. Well, suppose the Rams don’t like what they see in Bradford’s passing sessions?Or what if an independent medical specialist examines Bradford’s shoulder and issues a report that spooks the Rams? And then there’s this: suppose the Rams get started on contract talks with Bradford’s agent, Tom Condon, and come to the conclusion that they can’t make a deal before the April 22 draft? Or that reaching a contract in a timely fashion — to avoid a training camp holdout — would be extremely difficult? If any of those things happen — concerns over arm strength, the shoulder, the contract — THEN we could see the Rams stepping out to talk some business with the Eagles. But you’d have to be really naive to think that the Rams would rush into something with McNabb now. Not happening. Move on. If the Bradford flirtation blows up, then perhaps McNabb would be in play for the Rams.

    * And there is one other scenario that could put McNabb in play in St. Louis eventually: if the Rams get receive an offer for the No. overall (Bradford) pick that is so rich, so sweet, that they cannot turn it down. And in that case, McNabb could move into the Rams’ thoughts if he’s still there. But not necessarily; suppose the Rams want to use the additional draft picks picked up for the No. 1 overall to draft a QB other than Bradford? Again: why in the world would the Rams make a trade for McNabb now when they’re holding the No. 1 overall pick? That No. 1 overall pick has added value because of Bradford, the only franchise-caliber QB in this draft. Several teams have interest in Bradford; how much interest is yet to be determined. But if the Rams have any chance to deal out of the No. 1 spot, it’ll happen ONLY if they can convince Bradford’s suitors that he’s their guy, he’s on the way to St. Louis. And by acquiring McNabb before the draft, the Rams absolutely destroy their trade leverage with the No. 1 choice.

    * Rams GM Billy Devaney, a guest on my 101.1 ESPN radio show Thursday, said he was miffed that Atogwe’s name came up in the rumor. He said the Rams are trying to sign Atogwe to a new contract and didn’t want bad rumors to cause any damage. Devaney also said the Rams were willing to trade the No. 1 overall pick for “a king’s ransom.”

    * Here’s Your Daily Bradford Update: (1) Jim Corbett of USA Today takes a look at a possible Rams/Bradford future — lots of good opinions in here … (2) former Rams WR Torry Holt, appearing on the NFL Network’s “Total Access” show Wednesday night, says the Rams shouldn’t draft Bradford because of injury concerned related to Sam’s right shoulder. T-Holt’s choice for the Rams? Bradford’s teammate, Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy… (3) there’s been some silly reporting out there, claiming that the Rams won’t be able to sign Bradford or any No. 1 overall pick before the April 22 draft because of the team’s unsettled ownership situation. Rams chief operating officer and contract negotiator Kevin Demoff insists that isn’t true. He dismisses it outright. And indeed, the Rams have initiated preliminary discussions with the agents of the potential top picks.

  • #2
    Re: Thursday Bernie Bytes: McNabb-Rams, Bradford,

    ah, perhaps Holt hasn't learned Bradford has been throwing for over a month now and has passed every medical with flying colors..


    • #3
      Re: Thursday Bernie Bytes: McNabb-Rams, Bradford,

      Originally posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE)
      ah, perhaps Holt hasn't learned Bradford has been throwing for over a month now and has passed every medical with flying colors..
      Like Nick has said, it's the durability issue that's the concern. Even if he's healed from his most recent injury, how will he hold up to the pounding that he'll most likely have to endure every season, much more so than in college.