Rams don't seem reluctant to do record deal with Bradford

Amid chatter from some in league circles who believe that the Rams should exclaim that they’re mad as hell and they’re not gonna take it anymore when it comes to the ridiculous money paid to unproven players at the top of the draft, the early indications are that the Rams won’t be taking a stand in what could be the last year of what the agents are calling the “free money.”

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that negotiations between the franchise that has won six games in three years and the agents for quarterback Sam Bradford began on Friday, and that the two sides are “expected to lay the groundwork for what will be the richest deal in NFL history.”

Schefter suggests that the deal will pay Bradford between $45 million and $50 million in guaranteed money.  Last year, the Lions gave to Matt Stafford, the first pick in the draft, $41.7 million in guarantees.

But even on the low end of the range, do the economics justify an increase of nearly eight percent in guaranteed money?  Or do the Rams — like most other bad teams that “earned’ the first pick in the draft — have no choice but to pay the man what his agents say he wants in the hopes of getting better at some point in the future?

Some think that the Rams have a choice.  Some think that the Rams can, and that they should, take a stand.  Really, what leverage does Bradford have?  He can sit out another football season (he barely played in 2009) and re-enter the draft, just in time for the lockout and/or a true rookie wage scale.

But bad teams aren’t bad by accident.  Though we realize that G.M. Billy Devaney and executive V.P. of football operations Kevin Demoff have been dealt a different kind of flush, maybe the way to break the cycle of gloom is to do something truly bold and meaningful, even if it means going forward with A.J. Feeley at quarterback.

In any other year, we’d say there’s no chance of it happening.  In this year, with storm clouds aligning and balance sheets showing more red ink than a Little Orphan Annie comic strip, maybe there’s an opening for the Rams to use those horns for something more than decoration.

23 responses to “Rams don't seem reluctant to do record deal with Bradford

  1. Florio, haven’t you written this article like 5 times now? Again, if the Rams didn’t want to pay Bradford, the time to make that decision is before the draft when they had negotiating leverage with multiple players.
    While it’s true Bradford can’t sign with another team, the Rams also don’t have access to another top quality player, which they clearly desperately need.
    Whether Bradford is actually that good is another question, but the Rams apparently think he is, and that’s all that matters.

  2. $45-50 million guaranteed. Complete bullshit, just like the other big contracts. No football player deserves that much without performing, hell that is still alot..

  3. If Bradford is not the answer, the Rams will be stuck — and broke.
    A better solution might be to NOT sign him for mega-bucks, then tell the fans that all ticket prices will be reduced by $10 per game.

  4. Also — who actually owns the Rams these days? Who would give the go-ahead for this — or put on the brakes?
    Is the team still in the estate of Georgia Frontiere? Did her kids inherit it? Weren’t they selling to a car dealer from Peoria — or to the minority owner?
    Seems like he should have a say in this.
    Making a commitment of this size could have a real impact on the value of the team.

  5. So Mike, if you were the GM for the Rams in place of Billy Devaney, that’s what you would do? You would be willing to hold out (to set an example for the league) and let A. J. Feeley be your starting QB? You’d be fired in a heart beat. And Billy knows that would happen to him too.

  6. Also, if the Rams do not want to spend the mega-bucks, they may be able to trade the player for future draft picks — if they could get even a second and a third in 2011, it may be a good deal — they avoid the scalping by Bradford’s agent, and get two valuable picks after there is a wage scale in place.

  7. More proof that Florio is a MORON and a lawyer not a real person.
    Kind of like how he criticizes the UFL (whatever the hell that is) for mistakes and misprints while his “official NBC” site can’t even edit a F-ing article in a semi-literate way.

  8. Look.. I agree..rookies should get pennies and sign shorter contracts..the draft is a crap shoot..knowone knows who will be good..As a rams fan …Last year I wanted crabtree at #2 and this year Suh from nebraska..I hope the guys we did get pan out or the gm will be fired..good luck to you sam with no recievers or back up running back for jackson..

  9. Chiefs2010 says:
    July 16, 2010 8:18 PM
    Biggest bust of all time..
    mark it.
    Nobody can be worse than JaMarcus Russell!

  10. So the geniuses in St. Louis take a hard line and he doesn’t blink and goes back into the draft next year. Seattle, Arizona and San Francisco decide that they want to draft him and Bradford has made it clear that he won’t play for the Rams if they draft him again so he goes to one of the others and for the rest of his career, he Randy Mosses them. Yeah, that was a real smart move. You’re trying to rebuild your franchise and you take a low ball approach and set your QB of the future back and thus set your franchise back. That’s called the Oakland Raiders and after that, you end up overspending for your draft choices so they get into camp quickly, like the Oakland Raiders. Brilliant!

  11. “Do something bold and meanlingful”??!?!?!
    Florio, WTF are you talking about. What would be bold and meaningful about the Rams screwing their team over just because the people below them want to pay less to their rookies?
    There needs to be a rookie pay scale but why should the Rams champion some cause that’s likely to get fixed in a year anyway?
    The Rams aren’t going to be going to the poor house by paying Bradford. Sure if he doesn’t work out it’ll be a drag on payroll and the roster for a few years but that’s a chance you take with an outstanding quarterback prospect. You say they have a choice, but they have no choice at all.
    I think the only reason you hope they don’t pay Bradford is because you enjoy seeing teams do stupid things and it would make a hell of a lot of articles for you to write on this site. Win/Win for Mike Florio if the Rams don’t pay Bradford, but lose/lose for the Rams.

  12. It would be nice if Bradford had the character to tell the Rams, “Pay me the huge money – when I’ve proven myself. I’ll earn my keep.” Imagine the loyalty, and probably the baffled looks too, he’d earn from that decision. Hell, half of the amount that’s being talked about would make him fabulously rich beyond his dreams. How much is enough? Easy for me to say, but still…

  13. “It would be nice if Bradford had the character to tell the Rams, “Pay me the huge money – when I’ve proven myself. I’ll earn my keep.” Imagine the loyalty, and probably the baffled looks too, he’d earn from that decision. Hell, half of the amount that’s being talked about would make him fabulously rich beyond his dreams. How much is enough? Easy for me to say, but still…”
    It is indeed easy for you to say.
    Bill Gates says to you, “Here redsquare, I’ll give you 50 million dollars”
    Would you then say, “No thanks, i don’t really deserve it. Give me only a couple million instead”
    No, you would take the 50 million. At least Bradford has a chance to earn (and greatly exceed) his money

  14. redsquare says: July 16, 2010 10:30 PM
    It would be nice if Bradford had the character to tell the Rams, “Pay me the huge money – when I’ve proven myself. I’ll earn my keep.”
    Imagine a world of snips and snails and puppy dog tails. The Rams would jump on that offer in a minute and NOT honor their part of the agreement when the time came. The money that he’d lose would be gone forever and his agent is smart enough to know it. If he ever went to his agent with that offer, Condon would bitch slap him and bring in his clients to set Bradford straight on how loyal the owners are.

  15. paging Mr. J Russle. paging Mr. J Russle. Someone give me a name who signed for this kind of money that has been worth it the last ten years. I hope the League fixes this problem and fixes it well because it takes away from the game in a serious way

  16. If they didn’t feel they had the money to sign him, then they should of traded their #1 draft pick to the Browns. The Browns like an hour before the draft were offering basically their entire draft for that pick. Could of traded the rest of the Browns picks for players which could of helped.

  17. It’s really simple.
    The Rams have the leverage here. If Bradford wants to sit out the season and come back in next years draft with a rookie scale, then so be it. He would be drafted much lower, which would cost him tens of milions in a rookie wage scale. If Bradford is that stupid to throw away tens of millions, then the Rams shouldn’t waste their time on him anyway.

  18. @OMOM
    Rams don’t have any leverage. They have AJ Feeley and Keith Null as their QBs. They have an ownership situation in flux, serious stadium issues to address in a couple years and relocation rumors that aren’t going away. Not to mention both the GM and HCs jobs are on the line. Not to mention the fanbase is increasingly ambivalent. Not to mention Bradford is the guy they pegged to be the new face of their franchise, lowballing him and possibly forcing a season long holdout would be a disaster.

  19. For all you rookie pay scalers that talk about how great it is and how the players get into camp sooner and everyone wins. Well…
    Seems that the Memphis Grizzlies don’t want to honor the agreement and may be headed for trouble. A little blurb from ESPN:
    If you’re a lottery pick in the draft, it’s usually standard that you get 120 percent of the rookie-scale contract.
    But the Grizzlies are offering 100 percent of the rookie-scale contract to Xavier Henry, and the two sides are currently locked into a holdout of sorts.

    It’s this kind of bs that the Grizzlies pull that keeps them from being consistent winners (Call them the Clippers Midwest).

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