Skip to content

A closer look at the Rams' decision not to negotiate with possible No. 1 picks

As the 2010 draft approaches, the team that holds the first overall pick has made it known that it won’t be negotiating with any of the potential first overall picks.  Though the Rams, if they keep the pick, would be the first team since 2007 to use the pick without signing the player to a contract, the Raiders at least tried to get a guy to agree to terms before pulling the trigger at the top spot, negotiating with the agents for JaMarcus Russell, receiver Calvin Johnson, and quarterback Brady Quinn.

So while it’s not unprecedented to make the first pick without signing the player to a contract, it’s rare for the team that holds the top spot to not even try to get a guy to do a deal.  We’ve been racking our brains (and polling multiple league insiders) as to the reason for the Rams’ position, and we keep coming back to two possibilities.

First, it’s possible that they have decided to take Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, and that they have accepted the fact that Bradford’s camp (as we’ve been hearing for weeks) won’t do a pre-draft deal, since if the Rams don’t pick Bradford he’d go no lower than fourth overall and with the quarterback premium still get the best contract.  So:  (1) if the Rams start talking to the likes of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, tackle Russell Okung, and/or quarterback Jimmy Clausen; (2) if the Rams start making progress with one or more of them; (2) if Bradford digs in his heels and refuses to negotiate; (4) if the Rams have a guy teed up to take a deal that represents a package in the ballpark of the contract signed last year by No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford; and (5) if the Rams still pick Bradford anyway, word will get out that they could have had one of the other guys for far less than what they eventually pay Bradford.

And if one of the other guys becomes an instant Pro Bowler and Bradford is a bust, it’ll be time for the folks responsible for the Bradford pick to pack up their stuff.

Second, it’s possible that the Rams are trying to line up an Eli Manning-style pick-and-trade, which would make negotiating a contract with Bradford or anyone else irrelevant.  Under this scenario, the Rams would have a tentative deal lined up with a team drafting in a lower slot, the Rams would tell that team which guy to pick when on the clock, and then the swap would occur.

Still, the Rams would benefit from the perception that they’re keeping all options open.  Their current approach suggests either that they already know what they’re going to do, or that they’re paralyzed by uncertainty.  Our guess is that it’s the former, and that come Thursday night they’ll pick Bradford.  Whether they still have his rights by the time the first round ends remains to be seen.

Permalink 17 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Top Stories, Washington Redskins
17 Responses to “A closer look at the Rams' decision not to negotiate with possible No. 1 picks”
  1. KingJoe! says: Apr 18, 2010 1:30 PM

    or maybe they just figure their leverage is just as good after they pick.

  2. el_dude00 says: Apr 18, 2010 1:33 PM

    “So: (1) if the Rams start talking to the likes of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, tackle Russell Okung, and/or quarterback Jimmy Clausen; (2) if the Rams start making progress with one or more of them; (2) if Bradford digs in his heels and refuses to negotiate; (4) if the Rams have a guy teed up to take a deal that represents a package in the ballpark of the contract signed last year by No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford; and (5) if the Rams still pick Bradford anyway, word will get out that they could have had one of the other guys for far less than what they eventually pay Bradford.” – Mike Florio
    I see what you are saying here. The elimination of the third “if” is what is curious about these suppositions.There are two #2s. Got it!
    Damn dude. You’re good.

  3. scrapdawg12 says: Apr 18, 2010 1:36 PM

    Bradford is gonna be a bust

  4. Lorenz67 says: Apr 18, 2010 1:47 PM

    1 word, collusion… The Rams have been told not to in case a rookie wage scale is in place predraft…

  5. ninerfan says: Apr 18, 2010 1:48 PM

    Wow! Trying to read that was painful.

  6. Buschman says: Apr 18, 2010 1:51 PM

    Could it be that they are holding out hope that a new CBA will be negotiated that has a rookie wage scale?

  7. HellsGrimTyrant says: Apr 18, 2010 1:51 PM

    Given the Rams FO performance the last few years I’m going to go with “paralyzed with uncertainty”

  8. magsdad1 says: Apr 18, 2010 1:53 PM

    “Second, it’s possible that the Rams are trying to line up an Eli Manning-style pick-and-trade, which would make negotiating a contract with Bradford or anyone else irrelevant. Under this scenario, the Rams would have a tentative deal lined up with a team drafting in a lower slot, the Rams would tell that team which guy to pick when on the clock, and then the swap would occur.”
    Buffalo or Cleveland.

  9. Gray Eagle says: Apr 18, 2010 2:00 PM

    Do I detect Dan Snyder’s finger in this pot? Shanahan is very strong on Bradford.

  10. edgy1957 says: Apr 18, 2010 2:25 PM

    Reason 3, they’re idiots. Seriously, San Diego lucked out because while Rivers held out and was never a serious contender for the job, Drew Brees FINALLY came around but the Rams don’t have the kind of luxury.

  11. L-train says: Apr 18, 2010 3:20 PM

    Both Bradford and the Rams probably feel they will have more leverage after the draft.
    Bradford feels that if he waits, the pressure will then be on the Rams to sign him or he re-enters the draft next year and gets his money from someone else.
    However, the Rams feel that once the rookie wage scale is in place for 2011, the pressure will be on Bradford to get signed or re-enter the draft in 2011 and get a fraction of what he would get this year. Once the parameters of rookie wage scaled are leaked for 2011, the Rams will have all the leverage – a lot more than now. I would also bet that the parameters of a 2011 rookie wage scale will be made known before the start of training camp to entice the first 10-15 picks to get signed.

  12. Slow Joe says: Apr 18, 2010 3:51 PM

    @L-train: Excellent post.

  13. MI-Patrick says: Apr 18, 2010 4:11 PM

    The Rams are not going to take Bradford, It will be Suh or trade. Interest in Bradford is a smokescreen to milk a deal for extra picks, my guess Cleveland sends Delhome+#7+#85 for #1 and maybe #163. Cleveland will hope for a shot at Colt McCoy in the 2nd. They consider this a safer investment.

  14. floriosadildo says: Apr 18, 2010 5:52 PM

    Huh?

  15. hotchick says: Apr 18, 2010 6:08 PM

    It will be whatever happens on Thursday night.
    I love this. We all acknowledge that every team lies or implies they are lying about what they are going to do. But there is no limit to the number of numbskulls who know what each team, or any team, is going to do.
    And as we point to the fact that the expects draft Russel and Leaf #1, and point to where Brady was drafted as proof they are only correct 50% of the time at best…. The numbskulls again act as if they, from their chairs of expertise in their basements, are correct 100% of the time.
    Lets just see who drafts who and in two or three years which teams made mistakes and which players surprised everyone by being a bust.

  16. mzezulak says: Apr 18, 2010 6:41 PM

    Rams draft Bradford #1 then trade him to Washington for Okung @#4 , Mcnabb and haynesworth. Blockbuster

  17. vesselsk says: Apr 18, 2010 11:31 PM

    Its kinda nice to see the GMs for the teams at the bottom of the league being glib and not totally showing their hands to the rest of the table.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!