The other day I ran into an old friend and fellow Rams fan. It was the first time I seen him since we drafted Tavon Austin and he usually agrees with me on the direction of the team. This conversation went different though, and I had a hard time disagreeing with him, there was no contrarian argument for what he had to say. The subject of Sam Bradford was the main topic and his view is something that is hard to deny. Kellen Clemens is by no means an NFL starting caliber let alone a franchise quarterback, yet he led this team 4-5 record, while Sam led the Rams to a 3-4 record (Carolina loss is credited to Sam). Yes the team was young and yes maybe things would have turned out different if Sam never got hurt, but the same argument could be made of the opposite. I never really thought about things in comparison to Sam vs Kellen and final outcomes being the standard. With this new thought process maybe a new direction is what we need to think about while we still have the luxury of the RG3 picks. I have been a staunch Sam believer since day 1, but as every season goes by with santa only bringing me excuses instead of postseason Ram's games the inevitable discussion must take place. I am not sure who we should draft or if we should do it this season, but the discussion should start to take place.
While I have your attention and the idea of 2014 being a post Sam year, i have a few ideas. I saw today that Bob Stoops is in consideration for the Cleveland Browns HC and this gave me a plan. We trade Sam to Cleveland for both or their 2014 first round draft picks and a 2015 first or second round pick. The value of a known commodity is more then an unknown commodity. The last time a franchise quarterback was traded was Jay Cutler, and what the Bears gave up was big, they gave up Kyle Orton, a 2 first round picks and a third round pick. Denver gave back a fifth round choice to round out the trade. Since we will not be getting any players in return the we would ask for draft picks. With Cleveland being unreasonable with their more recent front office move in regards to the success of the franchise, this idea may have the most lasting success for the Rams. I love Sam, but if Kellen can step in and give us the same win loss outcome during the season maybe a business decision should be made to move on. This would serve us in so many ways, the least being financially, it would be 5 more years before we would have to pay the future franchise quarterback his bounty, the cap space Sam frees up, would allow us to bolster our holes via free agency.
We are close to having a competitive team, but far away from being a perennial playoff team. We have a lot of work to do with our offensive line, and our secondary this offseason. The last few years we have focused on playmakers, its time to shift our focus to the trenches. We are young and this would also be an opportune time to change directions in regards to our quarterback. It is best to do it sooner then later before the playmakers have to take a step back while we groom another quarterback. It pains me to think that we will be rebuild, but if we are going to do it, this should be the best time to do it. We may not have many other chances to choose who our franchise quarterback would be, this is probably the last time we pick in the top 5 for a while and we should take advantage of it. Blake Bortles or Derek Carr or Brettt Hundley, or Johnny Football there is 3 months to figure out who it will be.
In my scenario we will have 4 first round picks and taking a qb with the second pick then coming back with the 4th pick to take a Jake Mathews would seem the most logical. The money saved in trading Sam would allow us to go after either of the top safeties (TJ Ward, Jarious Byrd) in free agency and still have some money to make a run at Alex Mack. At 13 we can and will take BPA or trade down. Just take a look at all the options we would have available to us...
My latest mock...
#2 Blake Bortles QB UCF
#4 Jake Mathews T Texas A &M
#13 Ra Shade Hageman DT Min
#26 Gabe Jackson G Miss
#44 Christian Jones OLB FSU
#75 Bradley Roby CB OSU
#110 Malcolm Bunche T/G Miami
#145 James Franklin QB Missouri
#180 Keith McGill CB Utah
#216 Aaron Lynch DE USF
Re-signed Free agents
Free agent signings
TJ Ward, Alex Mack, Linvel Joseph
One can dream right? Losing Sam would suck, but just imagine what we can do if we can move him?? His contract is no longer the monster it once was considered, and I am sure we could find an eager partner in Cleveland and be well compensated for it.