Rams quarterback Marc Bulger reportedly cleaned out his locker several weeks ago. The Rams apparently held onto Bulger as insurance against a plan for the first overall pick in the 2010 draft that didn’t entail selecting a quarterback, and possibly in the hopes of getting trade value for Bulger.
With the Redskins, one of the potential trade partners both for Bulger and for the No. 1 pick in the draft, landing Donovan McNabb, there was no need to continue the ruse. And so the Rams dumped Bulger on his 33rd birthday. Though some might think the Rams did Bulger a disservice, agent Tom Condon didn’t see it that way.
“It’s not a bad birthday present at all,” Condon told Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. “I’m happy to have him free.”
It remains to be seen where Bulger will land. Despite three straight seasons with passer ratings in the low 70s, Bulger previously had three consecutive years above 90. Condon told Balzer that, by Monday night, Condon had heard from other teams. Per Balzer, Condon previously had said that other teams were waiting for Bulger to become available.
If Bulger hopes to be the undisputed starter, his choices are limited to perhaps the Raiders and the Bills. Even with those teams, however, Bulger would have to earn the job.
The Panthers and Jaguars could be possibilities, but Bulger would have to overcome Matt Moore and David Garrard, respectively.
In the end, Bulger may have to accept a backup job with a team like the Bears, where former Rams head coach Mike Martz is the offensive coordinator, or the Lions, where former Rams head coach Scott Linehan is the offensive coordinator. Bulger could have a better chance of playing in Chicago, where desperation could give way to panic if the team struggles out of the gates — and where the last-ditch effort to save coach Lovie Smith’s job could entail benching Jay Cutler.
Regardless of how it all shakes out, the delay has limited Bulger’s options, and it will be an uphill climb for him to find a suitable starting job in 2010.