McNabb, Campbell, Bradford and the Rams

It's Monday, and the St. Louis Rams do not have an answer at QB for 2010. Of course, that could change in just a little less than three weeks when the Rams are widely expected to make Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford the first overall pick of the draft. However, the Eagles decision to trade Donovan McNabb to the Redskins gives the Rams one other scenario to consider as April 22 approaches. Let's jump in with some Monday morning water cooler fodder. 

Redskins QB Jason Campbell became expendable yesterday, and already several teams are said to be interested. From Rotoworld:

Buffalo, Carolina, Oakland, Jacksonville and an unknown team are interested in Jason Campbell, according to ESPN Radio 980 in Washington D.C.

No word if that's the Rams, and I'd be surprised if it were. If Billy Devaney made a move to get Campbell, the Rams would be charting a different course in the draft, likely pursuing DT Ndamukong Suh or DT Gerald McCoy with the first overall pick. 

Campbell is in that middle tier of quarterbacks; he's quite capable, but hardly the kind of guy that can dominate a game on his own on a weekly basis. In an earlier conversation about Bradford here at TST someone hit the nail on the head when calling him a game-manager, or something like that.

The former Auburn QB would fit nicely into the team's West Coast offense, and at 28, he figures to have some tread left on his tires. Of course, playing behind Washington's offensive line may have done irreversible damage, and the Rams can't afford to go through that again. 

With a fresh, capable face under center, the Rams could make a significant upgrade to their defense drafting one of the afore mentioned DTs. It might even generate some trade interest for the top pick (doubtful, but possible). 

The Rams would lose considerable bargaining leverage if they made this move before April 22, which could defeat one advantage - the price of the contract - of not drafting a QB first overall. 

As far as the cost of trading for Campbell, who was tendered at the first round level, it might be the Rams second round pick, which would give the Rams a better QB than they'd be apt to get in the second round anyway. [Note by VanRam, 04/05/10 11:40 AM EDT ] The price may be right. Peter King speculates that Campbell would be worth a fifth round pick. He's bound to be something below the second round in an offer since what else will Washington do with him?

In that scenario, Cleveland or Buffalo would be the most likely landing spots for Bradford in the draft. 

Besides the big hurdle of whether or not Devaney and Co. could pull off such a trade, the question comes down to the franchise direction. Bradford, who looks like a very promising QB, would be the face of the franchise for a decade at least, the kind of cornerstone franchises are built around. Dynamic, young QBs are to football teams what the Acropolis was to Athens.

If the Rams were to make this hypothetical trade for Campbell, they'd be putting that off and pursuing a win sooner if not now strategy, whereas with a rookie QB they'd be looking at another losing season, but one headed, finally, in the right direction. A more competitive team now would put butts in the seats and help the team's revenue picture, not to mention give the team some leverage when 2014 rolls around and it's time to find an answer to the stadium conundrum. Bradford could do the same thing, hitting the peak of his career at exactly the time the Rams need local fan and financial support. With Campbell, the team would be looking for their next QB right about that time, if not sooner. 

This is a tough scenario to think about because either way it could work out well for the Rams. Thoughts?

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