Would the St. Louis Rams consider trading quarterback Sam Bradford if they got the chance to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck? That's the question that was pitched by Mel Kiper who was helping ESPN fill a little air time recently. It sounds crazy, because it is. Could it actually happen? Would it make any sense?
I'll tell you now, as I write this, that I'm not even sure it's worth the couple hundred words I'm about to spill over it. Since I'm tired of trying to understand the mess on the field every week and there isn't much news, let's tackle the question.
Sando summed up the thinking behind this wild notion in a post today. Essentially, it hinges on the Rams getting the first overall pick in the draft and not being able to trade it. Seeing they have Sam Bradford, teams may call their bluff and just wait until the second pick to grab Luck. A possible regime change at Rams Park might be more open to the idea since a new coaching staff and front office would have no attachments to Sam Bradford, other than the gargantuan amounts of money they'll owe him. And speaking of money, Luck would cost half of what Bradford does thanks to the new rookie salary scale.
Trading Bradford would likely fetch a sizable bounty of draft picks as well, especially in a league where the ghost of Carson Palmer can garner a one and two...maybe. Based on Kevin Kolb and Carson Palmer's cost and performance, teams will be a little stingier with trades this year.
Of course, they could also draft Luck with the pick and trade him for a boatload of picks. If they did have the chance to trade the pick for Andrew Luck or Bradford, they'll get a much higher return for the pick.
Trading Bradford might not be as easy as it seems. That contract is not going to be attractive to teams who can pick a QB in the first round this year. They'd also be giving up on Bradford after one rough season, on that followed a rookie of the year campaign. Bradford has a subpar cast around him, and he's struggling to pick up a new offense and deal with the responsibilities of making his own protection calls. It's the sophomore slump that many predicted...and that I dismissed as chatter.
A coaching change could well be on the way, at least for the head coach. I still think McDaniels has a pretty good chance of sticking around given that Stan Kroenke supposedly pressed for his hire. Another year in the same system, with a full offseason to learn and hopefully, finally some talent around him, and we can reasonably expect Bradford to be a fine quarterback. You'll notice his accuracy and timing hasn't evaporated, nor has his will to play. Bradford was a selling point to hire McDaniels, and any new coach would be happy to have an experienced, capable quarterback to accelerate the franchise's turnaround.
Then again...if Andrew Luck really is as special as everyone says he is, it might be tough to leave him on the board. The Rams haven't had anything special in...um...uh...a long time. Kurt Warner was a superstar, but he was not Peyton Manning. Maybe he could have been had Mike Martz not seen him as easily replaceable, but things worked out the way they did. If Andrew Luck really is the second coming of Peyton Manning, it might be exactly what this franchise finally needs to sink deep roots with whatever city ends up having them come 2015.
At this point, I'd be pretty happy with Stanford's offensive line.
Let's get through the season, and revisit this discussion.