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Sam Bradford: I did the right thing staying in school

Sam Bradford AP

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford returned to Oklahoma for his junior season, even though he might have been the top pick in the draft after his sophomore year.

That said, he still thinks he did the right thing coming back, and counseled current Sooners quarterback Landry Jones to trust himself when making a similar call.

“Obviously, it was his decision. If he feels like he made the right decision, then he did,” Bradford said of Jones. “I remember going through that process and people were telling me, ‘You should leave,’ or, ‘You should stay.’ At the end of the day, I was like, ‘It doesn’t matter what you think because you’re not the one who is going to live it.’

“I’m excited that he’s back. I think he’s a great player and I’m looking forward to seeing them play this year. Hopefully, they go all the way and win the national championship.”

Bradford could have been the top pick in 2009, after winning the Heisman Trophy and leading the Sooners to the national title game. Instead, he went back to school, injured his shoulder in the opener and missed most of his junior season. It didn’t hurt his stock, as he was still the first pick in 2010.

“I know coming back was the complete right decision for me. There’s no way I was ready to leave college after two and half years,” Bradford said Wednesday at his football camp back in Oklahoma.

“Even though I came back and got hurt, the experience that I gained in that extra year was invaluable. There’s no way I would have been able to step into an NFL huddle and lead an NFL team at 21 years old.”

Of course, it’s easy for Bradford to tell players to stay in school now, as he was the last one to cash the golden ticket that used to come along with the top of the first round.

He signed a six-year, $78 million contract with $50 million guaranteed. By contrast, the 2011 first overall pick, Cam Newton, signed a four-year deal worth $22 million. The extra year in school might have helped Bradford, but it wouldn’t have been worth $56 million.

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5 Responses to “Sam Bradford: I did the right thing staying in school”
  1. yelix says: Jul 12, 2012 9:58 AM

    Hate Oklahoma, but Bradford has always seemed to have a good head on his shoulders.

  2. rmc1995 says: Jul 12, 2012 11:41 AM

    Except Bradford wouldn’t have been the clear cut number one pick in 2009. Stafford, Sanchez and Freeman were also getting a lot of first round talk in 2009. Sanchez and Stafford would have been competing with Bradford for that top QB spot.

    Bradford came out in 2010 with the only other QBs of note in the draft being Tebow, McCoy and Clausen. And none were considered in Bradford’s class. He was the clear cut best even with an injury.

  3. papacrick says: Jul 12, 2012 12:00 PM

    Thank god he stayed back. Who knows where the Lions would be if they had this noddle armed scrub. He supposedly stayed back because he didn’t want the Lions to draft him and it’s the best thing to happen to us since Millen was denied his chance to get Jamarcus Russell. Bradford will never reach the level of greatness that is in Matthew Stafford’s future

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 12, 2012 1:23 PM

    Everyone slamming Gabbert, who did step in to an NFL huddle and lead an NFL team at 21. Better than Bradford managed this past season at 23.

  5. ttommytom says: Jul 12, 2012 2:52 PM

    Bradford killed the Rams coming out a year later.

    Had he come out a year earlier, he would have ended up the 2nd pick to the Rams, assuming the Lions take Stafford.

    Thus NO Jason Smith.

    Then, in 2011, the Rams take Suh with the 1st overall pick.

    The key is the Lions taking Stafford.

    In reality, it is Jason Smith’s fault or the Rams for taking him..

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