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The Daily Bernie Bytes: Why Bradford Isn't A Lock

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  • The Daily Bernie Bytes: Why Bradford Isn't A Lock

    03.30.2010 10:30 am
    The Daily Bernie Bytes: Why Bradford Isn’t a Lock
    By Bernie Miklasz

    Good morning…

    With so much Sam Bradford hysteria swirling, I thought it might be interesting to go the other way. While I believe Bradford is well on track to be the Rams’ pick (No. 1 overall) on April 22, let’s identify reasons why things could change.

    1. A trade down. In the words of Rams’ GM Billy Devaney: “Every man has his price. If some team wants to pay a king’s ransom for the pick, we’ll listen.” The Rams have many holes. They need players. They’d benefit from having extra, premium choices in what’s been touted as a deep draft. This is another reason why the Rams were so thrilled by Bradford’s excellent showing on Pro Day; the display only enhanced his value. Is trading Bradford a realistic option? Well, probably not but …

    2. The Washington Redskins have the 4th overall pick and seem to be keen on Bradford. They seem to want him. At least that’s the buzz out of Washington. And has been for some time. Based on his history in Denver, new Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan isn’t shy about taking a chance to get a coveted quarterback. In Denver he did business with the Rams, trading up a few spots to draft QB Jay Cutler in 2006. (The Rams ended up with CB bust Tye Hill.) And then there’s Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. He’s among the most aggressive NFL owners. He does not hesitate to be bold, or to throw money around. If any owner would push for a high-stakes trade to snatch that No. 1 overall pick from St. Louis, it’s Snyder. And if the Rams have any thoughts about dealing the pick, their unease would be comforted by having to slide down to Washington’s Np. 4 spot. The Rams wouldn’t want to move too far down in the first round. Would the Rams be happy to take, say, Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen with the No. 4 overall pick? I don’t sense a lot of excitement at Rams Park over Clausen, but he’s yet to have his official visit and sitdown with Rams’ folks in St. Louis. BTW: The Redskins are hosting Bradford on April 14.

    3. Suppose Bradford really, really wants to play for the Redskins? And why wouldn’t he? I mean, seriously. If you’re Bradford, who would you want in charge of your development: Mike Shanahan or Rams QB coach Dick Curl? Moreover, Mike Shanahan’s offensive coordinator is his son, Kyle Shanahan, who last season coordinated the NFL’s top passing attack (in terms of total yards) in Houston. Who would you want to play for: a team that’s close to contending, or a team that’s 6-42 over the last three seasons? Who would you want to play for: a financially elite franchise with a secure future and locked-in owner or a declining franchise that’s being sold, is in transition, and does not have a long-term owner in place? Please. I wouldn’t blame the kid if he wanted to go to Washington. And then there’s this: the esteemed Dr. James Andrews, who performed surgery to repair Bradford’s AC joint in the right shoulder, is on Snyder’s payroll as a Redskins medical consultant. OK, would

    * 3A. If Bradford really, really wants to play for the Redskins, his agent Tom Condon could try and pull a John Elway. And you youngsters may be wondering, what the heck is a ‘John Elway,’ anyway? In 1983, the woeful Baltimore Colts had the first overall pick in the draft. Elway, the Stanford QB, was the acclaimed, sure-fire No. 1 overall pick in the ‘83 draft. Elway’s agent warned the Colts ahead of time: don’t draft me, because I’ll never sign with the Colts. Baltimore drafted Elway, anyway. He resisted signing. Tempestuous, hard-drinking Colts owner Bob Irsay quickly grew impatient and traded Elway’s rights to Denver for a mediocre package that did include one good player, offensive tackle Chris Hinton. Obviously, the deal was a disaster for the Colts. Elway may have been able to save the franchise for Baltimore. Instead, Irsay’s blunder only intensified the Colts’ fan unrest, which made it easier for him to bolt to Indianapolis. If Condon really wants to play hardball, he could, in theory, make the Rams nervous enough to consider trading down. Heck, there’s even a more recent example: Eli Manning. He wanted to be a NY Giant. He didn’t want to play in San Diego. The Chargers drafted him No. 1 overall, anyway, in 2004. The Giants took N.C. State QB Philip Rivers with the No. 4 overall pick and the teams swapped QBs in a post-trade draft.

    4. What if the Rams have serious concerns over their ability to sign Bradford? Bradford’s contract strategy already is the topic of brewing of speculation in NFL circles. There’s chatter that Bradford will refuse to sign a deal with the Rams before the draft. If Bradford doesn’t sign in advance, he gains leverage — because the Rams would be under the gun to get their franchise QB into a routine as soon as possible to maximize his rookie-year development. If Bradford held out a long time — even as far as holding out from training camp — it would be a public-relations nightmare for the Rams. Condon, the best in the business, will understandably attempt to get the Rams to overpay Bradford to get an early signing. Suppose the Rams balk and decide that, as much as they like Bradford, they can pivot out of the No. 1 slot and still benefit from an windfall of extra picks acquired in a trade? If the Rams are legitimately worried about reaching a timely contract agreement with Bradford, wouldn’t that be another reason to trade down?

    (In a somewhat related note, some may be wondering: wouldn’t Bradford lose money if he’s the No. 4 overall pick instead of going No. 1 overall? In theory, yes. But Condon would argue for the “Quarterback Premium,” which is basically how Matt Ryan received No. 1 overall money (close to it, anyway) from Atlanta despite being the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft.)

    5. What if there’s late anxiety/concern over Bradford’s right shoulder: Look, he checks out great. Bradford should be just fine. But the Rams can’t be sure — no one can –until Bradford actually takes a huge hit and gets slammed around in live, full-speed action. That’s still the X Factor in all of this. Devaney has to be a little anxious about the worst-case scenario: turn down an offer for Bradford, draft him No. 1 overall, and have the shoulder crumple as soon as the kid gets driven to the ground by some runaway blitzer. Is that fear enough to give the Rams a reason to reconsider?

    Again: I still believe Sam will be the man for the Rams … I have not changed my opinion.

    But nothing is absolute. Nothing is 100 percent.

    So I wanted to provide some alternative-view thoughts.

    Thanks for reading…


  • #2
    Re: The Daily Bernie Bytes: Why Bradford Isn't A Lock

    The only real point in the mess written by Miklasz is this, what if Bradford doesn't want to go to the Rams? The FO better make sure they've got a lock on this guy if they're dead set on drafting him #1. This organization cannot afford to lose both Bradford and Suh because they didn't do their homework.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!


    • #3
      Re: The Daily Bernie Bytes: Why Bradford Isn't A Lock

      The only thing I agree with here is that Bradford isn't yet a lock.But only Bernie, who never misses a chance to stir up the Ram fanbase with silly nightmarish hypotheticals & cynical re-openings of old wounds (the Cutler/Hill thing) , could spin Bradford's good workout yesterday into a possible negative.The Rams' hand just got stronger by any sane assessment.

      Even if you assume that Bradford undergoes a radical persona change and/or gets advised to play such dirty hardball, why would he want to go to Snyder/Shanahan's Redskins ? Snyder is "bold" ?! Snyder is like some teenage Madden player with a Richie Rich wallet. His approach has earned The Redskins just 3 winning seasons in the last ten & cost him umpteen million.Personnel-wise, the offensive unit is a mess; OT Samuels is retired. Randle El is gone. Portis is on his last leg. Santana Moss, going into his 9th-10th year, is on the downside. They have Cooley, Fred Davis and Malcolm Kelly on offense .And there's ole'Haslett about to take his own outdated & half-baked wrecking ball to the defense.If I'm Bradford & worried about surviving my first couple years on a struggling team, I'd rather not face The Giants, Cowturds, and Beagles twice a year each while the entire O and D gets rebuilt around me, thank you very much.

      Even the discombobulated Rams beat the Skins year before last & probably should have beaten them last year. This is no elite franchise. They are only on tv because of the other NFC East teams they play.

      Yes, Shanahan has a great rep but it rests pretty firmly on the shoulders of Elway, not the other way around, imo.And it's a pretty dusty old rep like another Snyder savior, Joe Gibbs. Who do you think has a more of a rep among young players like Bradford; Spags or Shanahan?

      This smacks of the kind of disinformation/mud that Devaney has recently described as part of the pre-draft silly season. Bernie couldn't have taken the bait more energetically if it had been a krispy creme.
      Last edited by Azul e Oro; -03-30-2010, 01:16 PM.


      • #4
        Re: The Daily Bernie Bytes: Why Bradford Isn't A Lock

        The Redskins close to contending? Oh, that's rich. Sure, their offensive line is in shambles, their receiver corps has disappointed, and their last season was so bad they decided to clean house on both their coaching staff and front office. Otherwise, who wouldn't want to play for them?


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          Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford
          by r8rh8rmike
          Rams need to show some fortitude and draft Bradford

          Bernie Miklasz

          As the Rams ponder their options for the No. 1 overall draft pick, it's probably a good time to ask a pertinent question: Are the Rams ready to rejoin the National Football League?

          The NFL has evolved dramatically in recent years. This is a passing league now. The salary-cap system went into place in 1994, or 16 seasons ago. Over that time, the league's second-highest average of passing yards per game occurred in 2009, and the fourth-highest passing average came in 2008. In terms of average yards per attempt, four of the five best passing seasons since '94 have come over the last four seasons.

          These aren't meaningless yards, either. If a team is incapable of doing considerable damage through the air, then the odds of success are limited. And yes, the numbers back that up.

          Over the past three seasons, the teams that finished among the top third in the NFL in overall passing yards have claimed 21 of the 36 postseason spots. In 2009, nine of the top 10 passing teams — and 10 of the top 12 — made it to the postseason.

          Message: Throw it or go home.

          That brings us to Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford.

          The Rams are eyeing Bradford as a strong possibility for No. 1 overall. As they should be — provided Bradford passes inspection when doctors examine his surgically repaired right shoulder.

          Of course, the idea of drafting a quarterback first overall has caused an eruption of high-pitched clucking from the precious Chicken Littles among us. These are jittery shaking Rams fans who have decided it's insane to draft a quarterback No. 1 overall.


          Because the Oakland Raiders did it in 2007 and JaMarcus Russell went bust. And because Houston did it in 2002 and David Carr flopped. And because San Francisco took the chance on Alex Smith at No. 1 overall in 2005 and he hasn't ascended to an elite level.

          According to the nervous nellies, Joey Harrington (No. 3 overall, Detroit, 2002) is another example of the disaster that awaits any team reckless enough to take a QB at the top of the first round.

          Apparently the logic works like this: (A) Other NFL teams have erred in past in choosing quarterbacks, therefore (B) Bradford is doomed to fail if the Rams tap him April 22.

          And then there are Dr. Chicken Littles. The Doctor Littles are experts on shoulder injuries.

          Just thinking about Bradford's shoulder makes them tremble.

          Well, we all know that it is impossible for a quarterback to recover from shoulder surgery. Just ask the New Orleans Saints, the dumbbells who gave Drew Brees 60 million free-agent dollars before the 2006 season. And the Brees injury concern — rotator cuff surgery — was more severe...
          -03-11-2010, 07:06 PM
        • MauiRam
          Bernie: Giving up on Bradford for Griffin would have been wrong move ..
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          And that's the problem. The impatient and irrational folks who already have given up on Rams quarterback Sam Bradford are mewling over the team's decision to trade the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft to Washington. The Redskins coveted Griffin and were willing to give the Rams a bundle of draft choices for the rights to the No. 2 selection.

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          RG III completed 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns. He scooted for 42 yards rushing. He did not throw an interception. He had a passer rating of 139.9. He hung 40 points on the New Orleans defense. Griffin did everything but break the political gridlock in the nation's capital. Not surprisingly, Griffin was named the NFC's offensive player of the week.

          During his weekly guest spot on Sirius/XM radio, Hall of Fame coach John Madden took the hype to a Hall of Fame level in his rave review of Griffin's opening performance.

          "At some point I have to admit that I said this, and it just came out. I said, 'RG III's the best player in the NFL today.' That's what I really thought," Madden said.

          Griffin poses a considerable threat to the Rams' defense. And he can do significant damage to Bradford's profile in St. Louis.

          The short-attention span crowd that now swoons over Griffin is forgetting at least three important points:

          • No. 1, the Rams lost 65 of 80 games played from 2007-2011. The Rams' hideous roster was so devoid of talent at the end of 2011, the franchise should have applied for membership in the Canadian Football League.

          To expedite a difficult rebuilding process, new Rams head coach Jeff Fisher needs better players, and lots of 'em. It made sense to move the No. 2 selection to D.C. for the sixth and 39th picks in the 2012 draft, and first-round choices in 2013 and 2014.

          Rams GM Les Snead moved down in the first round in April to pick up an extra draft choice from Dallas. In the second round Snead made a deal with Chicago, sliding down five spots in exchange for the 150th pick overall. The series of maneuvers enabled the Rams to add four promising rookies to the 2012 roster: defensive tackle Michael Brockers, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, running back and kickoff returner Isaiah Pead and guard Rok Watkins. And they still have that extra first-round pick in 2013 and 2014.

          • No. 2, the Rams had no desire to trade Bradford. But even if...
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        • AvengerRam_old
          Bradford Contract: Which is the more reasonable statement?
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          Here are two recent comments regarding the Rams' ability to sign Sam Bradford if they draft him in Round 1:

          First, Statement #1:

          Kind of a scary prospect, huh? Makes you wonder whether the Rams should take Bradford, doesn't it?

          Now here's Statement #1:

          Well, that one isn't too bad, is it? Sounds like this commentator is aware of the possible bargaining tactics, but isn't too worried about it impacting the Rams' ability to select and sign Bradford.

          These two statements were published within hours of each other.

          So... who is the author of Statement #1?

          Bernie Miklasz.

          And... who is the author of Statement #2?

          Bernie Miklasz.

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          Could it be that he (along with several other writers from tabloid sites like PFT and from wishful-thinking Washington sportswriters) is just trying to stir up some controversy to keep interest up in the three weeks remaining before the draft?

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        • MauiRam
          Bernie: Bradford should cut Rams a break
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          By Bernie Miklasz

          Oh, goodie ... it's your lucky day! Time for another hot take on Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. And I'm sure there will be many more before he moves on, or the Rams move on, or whatever happens next in their unfortunate, unsuccessful relationship.

          Let's start by getting a several preliminaries out of the way:

          * Bradford is entering the final season of his six-year rookie deal worth $76 million. Bradford is scheduled to make $12.985 million in salary this season, but he'll count $16.58 million against the team's salary cap.

          * It's not Bradford's fault that he got stuck with a terrible football team, or that he was the last No. 1 overall draft pick before the NFL and the NFL players' union changed the system for rookie compensation in 2011. Bradford's $76 million was pretty much locked in as soon as the Rams picked him at the top of the 2010 draft. There were no negotiations. He was going make as much money as a Wal Mart heir no matter what he did during the life of the contract.

          * Our Jim Thomas -- the former star running back at Southwest High School on the city's south side -- has reported, on multiple occasions, that the Rams would like Bradford to restructure the contract and play 2015 at a lower salary.

          * Our man Thomas also reports that the Rams and Bradford's agent Tom Condon have been unable to reach an agreement. There is resistance in the Bradford camp.

          * Despite the fact that Bradford has had two knee surgeries ... since the fall of 2013 ... and that he's missed the last 25 regular season games ... and that he has started only 49 of a possible 80 games during his first five seasons ... and that his injury problems date back to his final season of college ball and missing most of the games at Oklahoma in 2009 ... the Rams LOVE him. Coach Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead and offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti and QB coach Chris Weinke have all made that abundantly clear. To quote the famous poet 50 Cent, the Rams' bosses LOVE Sam Bradford the way a fat kid love cake. (And I do love cake, by the way.) Heck, Fisher basically sought Bradford's approval before promoting Cignetti and hiring Weinke.

          * When the Rams' folks talk about Bradford, I have to go for the Q tips to clean my ears and make sure I'm hearing things correctly; the Indy Colts don't carry on about Andrew Luck the way the Rams slobber over Bradford. My late father Bernie Sr. never talked about Johnny Unitas the way Fisher pumps up Bradford.

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          -03-06-2015, 12:00 AM
        • eldfan
          Bernie Bytes: Defending Sam Bradford
          by eldfan
          Bernie Bytes: Defending Sam Bradford
          BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist Wednesday, December 14, 2011 9:39 am

          The Bytes are back after a travel day ... it's not as if much has changed in the last 24 hours ... we begin with a follow-up to my early-deadline column written before the start of the Rams-Seahawks game in Seattle. In the piece I reaffirmed my belief in Sam Bradford as the Rams move forward.

          Reading Time 5 Minutes:

          * Sam Bradford didn't look good on Monday night, but that's no surprise given his bad ankle, the lack of practice time going into the game, a confused offensive approach, and the ongoing problems at receiver and the O-line. Bradford was intercepted once but probably should have had three or four passes picked off by the Seattle. And he did miss open receivers, and that's his fault.

          * It's easy to overreact to Bradford's second-year struggles, and there's a noisy faction forming on Internet boards that would have us believe that Bradford is a bust. That's pretty crazy. Even if one has legitimate concerns over some aspects of Bradford's play, it's way too soon to dismiss him as a potential franchise QB. But we live in a short-attention span culture, so it isn't surprising to see an anti-Bradford wolfpack form. When a team loses, the head coach and the QB are the easy targets.

          * Part of the problem for Bradford is this: in recent seasons we've seen young QBs break into the league, immediately play well, and never really endure much suffering as they transition into the NFL. That list would include Matt Ryan in Atlanta, Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, Joe Flacco in Baltimore, and Eli Manning with the NYG. And while he has serious accuracy issues, Mark Sanchez has been a winning QB for the NY Jets.

          * I haven't included Cam Newton or any the 2011 NFL rookie quarterbacks; it's too soon to tell. After all, did we hear any of the haters ripping Bradford after his Rookie of the Year season? No, we didn't. Which tells us something about the volatile nature of learning the QB trade in the NFL. It's a job that can throw you all over the place. Even though there have been a few exceptions, it isn't easy to master this position in the NFL without going through hell first. It takes time. And even when we think a quarterback has "arrived," he can relapse. Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay) is the latest example.

          * For some historical perspective, consider: After his first two NFL seasons, this No. 1 overall draft choice had completed 55 percent of his passes for 20 TDs and 36 interceptions and a passer rating of 62.0 His team was 7-19 in his starts. The quarterback ... Troy Aikman in Dallas. Hall of Famer. A lot of people believe that Bradford is closest to Aikman in terms of personality, build, and style of play. So Aikman is a pertinent example.

          * This quarterback and No. 1 overall...
          -12-14-2011, 08:20 PM