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Can the Rams sign Sam Bradford?

Sam Bradford was scheduled to have his pre-draft visit with the St. Louis Rams on April 19, the Monday before the draft, but that meeting got bumped up to yesterday. And now we wait. The actual draft has a few days, but the void will be filled completely with all kinds of rumor and speculation, some informed, some wild guessing. 

The report in the PD today strongly insinuates that Bradford will be the top pick in the draft, whether or not it's the Rams that pick him remains to be seen. 

Yesterday, we discussed a report claiming that Bradford and his agent, Tom Condon, would not sign a contract prior to the draft, a recent precedent for first overall picks. That may be true, but I'm confident that the Rams, should they make Bradford the top pick, can get a deal done. 

First, precedent. Condon represented last year's first pick, Matthew Stafford, a quarterback. So, they have a deal to work off of. Yes, they'll be looking for an increase, but can they credibly ask for something beyond 5 percent of Stafford's six-year, $72 million deal with $42 million guaranteed? I guess they could. 

Second, the Rams have a history with Condon and his partner Ben Dogra, who represented last year's second overall pick Jason Smith. That doesn't mean there's no chance for a holdout. This is business, and they have a responsibility to themselves and their client to get him paid as much as they possibly can. They've certainly had clients who did holdout. 

And here's where the Colt McCoy talk makes things interesting. Bradford's people know the Rams don't have much leverage. They need a franchise QB, and trading the pick will be hard, despite the rumors. If the Rams really are interested in McCoy they can play the game of brinkmanship, confident that McCoy will be there at #33, forcing Bradford and his agent to settle for a lower pick...and a lower paycheck. It's not much leverage, but it's all they've got between now and April 22.