The St. Louis Rams have made a habit of late of making a big enough splash through personnel decisions to consistently be in the headlines during the offseason. Last year was no different.
The Rams tradedSam Bradford to the Philadelphia Eagles for Nick Foles. The trade also saw the Rams walk away with the Eagles' 2015 NFL Draft fourth-round pick and their 2016 NFL Draft second-round pick. The Eagles took the Rams' 2015 NFL Draft fifth-round pick, and had a chance to get the Rams' 2016 third-round pick if Bradford had not taken half of the Eagles' snaps for the season.
The Rams used that fourth-round pick on offensive lineman Andrew Donnal. The Eagles used the fifth-round pick as trade bait to move up to pick 47th overall in the second round and draft CB Eric Rowe. Donnal is in a backup role, and Rowe played in all nickel packages and eventually became a full-time starter.
But what about the quarterbacks? Surely we have to discuss the very reason for this trade being a "blockbuster" trade.
In the 14 games Sam Bradford played, the Eagles went 7-7. Bradford set new career highs in completion percentage (65%), yards (3,725 yards) and yards per game (266). In fact if Bradford had played all 16 games, he likely would have eclipsed the 4,000 yard mark by a couple of hundred yards. Unfortunately as we all know too well, he had trouble staying healthy after taking a monstrous hit against the Miami Dolphins, and suffered a concussion and sprained his left shoulder.
Nick Foles started 11 games for the Rams, leading the Rams to a 4-7 record. He finished the season with 2,052 yards, a 7:10 TD/Int ratio and a 56% completion percentage. The games he missed were not a result of injury but performance-related instead. He was actually outplayed by QB Case Keenum, who Jeff Fisher has just endorsed as his starting quarterback entering the 2016 season.
The Rams lost a handful of games off of perhaps six or seven key plays. It can be argued that with a slightly more accurate quarterback, those extra plays could have been made resulting in a different outcome of the season. This isn't a hint towards Bradford should have stayed, but more of how would things have been different if a switch to Keenum have happened sooner, maybe even after that Packers game (arguably the worst game by a Rams QB in the last 6 years).
We can play the game of what if all day. The fact of the matter is Nick Foles was horrid and played terribly with not many excuses to back him up. Had Keenum looked equally as bad, there would have been a case to be made, no pun intended.
Interestingly enough, when I wrote about why I thought Foles would fail, I alluded to inconsistencies in his game that were being overlooked. A struggle with consistent accuracy and decision making was sure to doom him.
Even more interesting than that, was the vote by the fans of what a failed season for Foles would be;
Needless to say, it's probably even more disappointing that the yards Foles threw for in reality was almost exact to the one voted on, but was done in four less games. Ouch!!!
The Rams will have the 44th pick in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft, thanks to the trade with the Eagles. Unless they can turn that into a rookie pro bowl pick, they have lost this trade.
In my opinion, the Eagles won this trade outright. The Eagles got a starting corner and solid QB play. The Rams got a backup G/T and a backup QB. In my bold season predictions piece, I said Sam Bradford would outplay Nick Foles and it won't even be close. Unfortunately, Foles' performance made that look less like a bold prediction and more of a fact.
But as usual I will leave the final word up to you all with a vote...