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Quarterback decisions, future and present, for the Rams

Here's the least insightful statement you'll read today: The St. Louis Rams need a starting QB for the 2010 season. Discussion around that subject has begun in earnest in the wake of rookie Keith Null's debut against the Titans yesterday. GM Billy Devaney has several routes for finding the team's next signal caller with a very high pick in the draft or more financial flexibility thanks to lots of junk contracts going off the books after this season.

First, let's talk about the rest of the season. Devaney's reluctance to put Marc Bulger on IR and reports this weekend that he will miss at least two more games make me wonder if they aren't hoping that Bulger might be able to start the season's final game, a showdown with the 49ers at the Dome. Bulger's status with the Rams and in general is up in the air after this season. There are reports that Bulger might just retire after this season. Retire or not, it seems likely that the Rams would part ways with Bulger, since he clearly doesn't have much left in his abused body and may be unwilling to renegotiate his contract. So for the next two games it comes down to a choice between Keith Null and Kyle Boller, a push in my opinion.

There are some bona fide first round talents at the quarterback position this year, and the Rams will certainly go through their due diligence on those players. They have to. Of course, if history is any indication, the Rams might not be taking a QB in the first round, especially with what will most likely be the first or second overall pick. The last time a franchise that included Billy Devaney as a member of the front office staff drafted a QB was the San Diego Chargers in 1998 who drafted Ryan Leaf.

That leaves the free agent (or trade) market which is really, really tough to predict at this point given the labor dispute. Some of the names being mentioned include, surprisingly and unsurprisingly, two current members of the Eagles. From Peter King:

Interesting tidbit from respected St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz: "I would not be surprised, at all, to see the Rams make a play for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick after the season.'' I agree.

Miklasz has a penchant for dramatics and overstating whispers. However, Vick might just be a decent fit for an offense that seems steadfastly determined to not throw a ball more than 7 yards down the field, no matter how much they might need to. And then there's this slightly more surprising tidbit:

Also would not be surprised to see the Rams make a very quiet inquiry about Donovan McNabb after the season either. Not saying the Eagles would make such a deal (two second-rounders and a four for McNabb?), but Kevin Kolb will be a fourth-year player, and Philly's not going to be able to keep him until McNabb retires.

Obviously, that's a little more of a stretch, but given the connections between this coaching staff and the Eagles, it's not surprising, since proximity does a lot to start rumors in the NFL. McNabb turns 34 next season, so it would be a short-term solution, like say if you were drafting a QB. I don't know that the Rams can really afford to be surrendering second round picks for 34-year-olds. Strangely enough Kevin Kolb has been mentioned as a possibility too.

Then, there's always Jason Campbell who has a 65 percent completion rate and has been playing at a high level this season despite the team around him.

Whoever the Rams start at quarterback next season, let's hope they get some receiving talent for that person to throw to, but that's another discussion for another time.

Finally, let's go back to the season at hand. Personally, I'd probably just start Null. The difference between him or Boller under center is neglible and doesn't increase the chances of the team winning either way. If Bulger is cleared to play in week 17, do you start him? Only three more games to think about the current crop of Rams quarterbacks, and that's good news in and of itself.