In a Thursday morning interview with ESPN’s Hannah Storm, agent Tom Condon talked about the possibility of the Rams picking quarterback Sam Bradford with the No. 1 selection in the 2010 draft.
And, intentionally or not, Condon may have dropped a strong hint.
Asked about speculation that Bradford does not want to play for the Rams, Condon said that Bradford has no feelings one way or the other. But Condon prefaced his response by saying that “[w]e’ve been down that road once before” with Eli Manning and the Chargers in 2004. (As you may recall, Eli didn’t want to play in San Diego, ultimately resulting in a trade that sent him to the Giants for Philip Rivers, who had been picked by the Giants at No. 4.)
The fact that Condon said “we’ve been down that road once before” could be interpreted as a slip as to whether he’s going “down that road again.” As in “going down that road right now.”
Condon also said that there have been no negotiations with the Rams regarding a contract. We’ve heard that Bradford’s camp has specifically determined not to engage in contract talks, since the leverage shifts decisively to the player once the pick is made.
Before the player is selected, the team has the leverage, given that the player could make far less money if drafted later. But even though Bradford would likely make far less at, say, No. 4 than he’d earn at No. 1, he’d likely make more than any other player picked before him — just as Matt Ryan did from the No. 3 position in 2008. Also, if picked by the Redskins at No. 4 (or via trade to No. 1), he’d arguably be in a much better position to eventually succeed.
Bottom line? Bradford’s camp may now be putting up smoke signals that the player doesn’t want to play in St. Louis — and Condon’s comment may not have been a slip.