Bradford's $50 million guarantee is legit

Whenever we see a rash of reports regarding record contract numbers for a guy who has never stood at the line of scrimmage in an NFL game and called out signals, we’re skeptical. 

Everyone who has reported on the contract that the Rams have given quarterback Sam Bradford has reported that Bradford will receive $50 million guaranteed.

And though we’ve yet to see the paperwork, a source whom we trust tells us that, indeed, it’s a legitimate guarantee of $50 million.

That’s $8.3 million more in guaranteed money than the first overall pick received in 2009, an increase of 19.9 percent.

So much for teams not being willing to sign players to long-term, big-money deals given the uncertain status of the labor situation.

As we’ve recently pointed out, a record deal for an unproven quarterback at a time when multiple teams won’t give contract extensions to veteran players tends to undermine the notion that the CBA question marks prevent large dollars from being tossed around.  And it should make fans of teams like the Colts, Patriots, and Chargers demand that ownership either break open the pocket books for players like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Vincent Jackson, and Marcus McNeill or come up with a far more plausible excuse for not doing so.

If a team that has won six games in three years with an outdated stadium and an unsettled ownership situation can break the bank for a guy with water behind the ears and a shoulder busted by a college-level linebacker, surely the more proven and successful franchises can find a way to secure their key players.

43 responses to “Bradford's $50 million guarantee is legit

  1. “And it should make fans of teams like the Colts, Patriots, and Chargers demand that ownership either break open the pocket books for players like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Vincent Jackson, and Marcus McNeill or come up with a far more plausible excuse for not doing so.”
    WRONG. Why should fans demand that because one team made an insanely stupid decision that the others should follow ? Maybe you think people should go through life as lemmings, I don’t.
    Rams are out of their mind to give this kid a contract like that and such a substantial increase in guaranteed money from last year’s #1. I hope Bradford is a total bust and the Rams have to eat their own young to pay the bills.

  2. Tom Brady is still going to play if the Patriots wait to pay him. The Chargers won’t lose a brand new, current 1st round draft pick if they don’t pay Vincent Jackson.
    See the difference?
    The 20% increase is nuts, but paying him is, and always has been, a foregone conclusion. For a team in that bad of shape to throw away its first pick would be to cry mercy (and probably bankruptcy).
    These contracts have nothing to do with extending RFA’s. RFA’s are an option. Draft picks are not.

  3. Or maybe this is just an example of decisions made by a team that has won only six games in three years?

  4. This is just another way for the owners to stick it to the veterans by dishing out big money to an unproven rookie. Suck on that one, NFLPA. Oh yeah, I hope Bradford is a bust!!!

  5. Wow, if there was ever an argument for a rookie wage scale this was it. What a joke to give this much cash to a guy who has never played in or won an NFL game.

  6. I think there are 2 sides to this. I too hate the ridiculous contracts given to rooks in the top of the 1st round but you are paying for potential. In the case of signing a proven vet you’re doing the same. You are betting that they will continue to perform at a high level. Now while your chances of this happening improve greatly with perennial pro bowlers there is just as good a chance of it not being the case. Also with signing proven vets, there is the question of age which never applies to rookies. To make this a black and white issue is foolish at best. That said, there needs to be a friggin cap on these top picks.

  7. That’s easy. Just up the ticket, parking, ad rates and concession prices. The people whom can’t afford it are alwaays the ones to pay, in the long run. This system has to collapse some day.

  8. Apparently it needs to be said again…the Rams HAD to give a big money contract to Bradford, otherwise he wasn’t gonna be in camp and would play a down this year without it. Most of those veterans have contracts, they will play this year regardless. They just want big money extensions. It makes sense to sign your rookies…you NEED to sign them in order for them to play and you drafted them to make your team better. Manning and Brady will still be Manning and Brady without extensions. Man, wise up.

  9. This is just getting absolutely ridiculous, the new Agreement needs to put the hardest cap on this, players who deserve this money are not even getting it and they have been in the league for a handful of years. This is outrageous!!!

  10. Are you saying the assertion “the Colts, Pats and Chargers are smarter than the Rams” isn’t plausible? I (and recent history) disagree with you.
    Your last paragraph makes no damn sense, boiling down to “if a bad team can do something shortsighted, surely good teams can do something shortsighted.”

  11. Florio, you are right, guys that have spent time in the league deserve to have the support of their teams, guys like Michael Vick, for example.

  12. I can’t believe the Rams paid that much to Bradford but Mike you seem to be missing the point.
    First, the fact that the Rams have been so bad and have unsettled ownership is probably a reason why they had to give in and pay Bradford. They can’t really afford to further alienate their fan base by not signing the #1 overall pick in the draft. They didn’t have a lot of leverage in this case and the deal they signed seems to reflect that.
    Second, Bradford wasn’t under contract so there was nothing forcing him to report to training camp if the Rams didn’t give in. Brady and Manning are both under contract so they would risk fines and maybe even fan backlash if they held out. McNeil and Jackson are both restricted free agents for a GM with a God complex, while I don’t agree with AJ Smith, he holds a lot of leverage and is using it.

  13. Bradford has leverage. Those looking to get their contracts extended have less leverage.
    The Rams are between a rock and a hard place. Which is why “winning” the #1 pick in the draft is becoming less and less of a prize. It kills the financial structure of a team, creates issues in the locker room, and if the pick turns out to be a bust it will potentially destroy a team for years. See Detroit, see Cleveland.

  14. How is $50 million legit to any rook? The league needs a rookie cap now. If this kid fails (50/50 chance) the Rams are done for years.

  15. This is just the cover Kraft needed to sign Brady to a mega deal. Now when the owners blame him for breaking rank, he can just blame the Rams.
    As an aside, a 20% increase in guaranteed money is bonkers!

  16. He might give JMac competition for biggest bust ever if that shoulder doesn’t hold up.
    There is a reason bad teams stay bad.

  17. 0ut of that 50 million how much of it is he going to donate to the fans so they can afford to go to the games to see this unproven player.

  18. This is a great example of why the Rams are so bad. Giving obscene amounts of money to an unproven player like this is just plain stupid. Billy Devaney is an idiot GM and their owners are spoiled brats who know nothing about football. This franchise is going down the tank and will continue to do so.

  19. The Rams were in a postion to wildly overpay for Sam Bradford because they’re a pathetically lousy team/organization which is why they were in position to draft Bradford to begin with.
    The Colts and Patriots are no such organizations
    They’re not going to cut their own throats with huge contracts until they know the lay of the salary cap land.

  20. Totally unfair to player like Manning and Brady. What is wrong with the ownership in St. Louis to do a deal this stupid.

  21. They had no choice, just like the lions last year. Can’t afford to have a long holdout when you suck. The NFL needs to fix this issue with the new agreement.

  22. “So much for teams not being willing to sign players to long-term, big-money deals given the uncertain status of the labor situation.”
    What are they supposed to do, NOT sign their draft pick. There is a big difference between giving a deal like this to a draft pick (cause you know you sort of have to) and a current player that is already under contract. Those are the deals that don’t seem to be getting done. Every team will sign their draft picks.

  23. “an increase of 19.9 percent”
    ABSURD. He should kiss his agent right on the smackers….

  24. Congratulations Bradford and your agent, you’ve suckered them all in beautifully. The NFL has created this system based on fooling people with leverage and a “hot” college game to parlay that into a virtual lottery win.
    Then once you play pro it literally doesn’t matter and more often than not you stink. JaMarcus really kicked this trend into high gear and God bless all these college/rookies who are merely playing the game and exploiting this ridiculous system for what it is.
    For Godsakes, even the WWF-like NBA has more sense than this with their rookie cap. Players at least have to prove their stardom or game ability before cashing in.
    The NFL is so petrified about “losing a season” that they continue to run this stupid system that hurts the game and the league. History lesson, MLB lost an ENTIRE season, and when they came back they had a home run race which captivated the world, the Yankees won more, the players all make more money than the NFL superstars, the teams make more money, and despite the steroid scandals, baseball is STILL just as popular over 13 years later.
    NFLPA, Goodell, fix this broken system. You are the laughing stock of the sports world despite being the most popular. Unless Labron James switches sports, NO ROOKIE should be getting $50million before stepping foot on an NFL field.

  25. My friends wife makes $12.00 an hour helping the elderly, wiping their asses and this guy gets $50 mil for throwing a football…

  26. # 1mge says: July 31, 2010 8:30 AM
    Ford Field is out dated????
    I sure he means the dome the Rams play in, and that still begs to ask the same question. The dome in St. Louis is only 15 years old. Hardy outdated by any means.
    FoF says: July 31, 2010 9:04 AM
    And that folks is why the Lions are the Lions.
    What do the Lions have to do with this?
    On the topic at hand. The rookie pay scale is getting out of control. Unproven players don’t deserve this kind of money.

  27. Well it looks like Sue will get more guarenteed money than Stafford. Lets hope it doesn’t cause any discontent.

  28. if the nfl can justify paying a rookie this kind of money,they should be able to build their own stadiums without public support,i can never understand why a player may make 10 million a year when the player beside him makes 365 thousand,make the 10 million player play several positions if he is that good,its a team sport ha ha

  29. how can u blame the rams for this? every year the 1st overall contract has been increasingly rising and rising, the rams had no choice but to draft the best qb available, and they had no choice but to fork up the $$$. stafford got a big deal last year, why not bradford? jamarcus russell got 61 mil (32 guaranteed) u think tom condon is gonna sit back and have his player accept that much? no of course not hes gonna ask for more. if theres no rookie cap we’ll be sittin here next year saying how lockers contract is absurd

  30. Brilliant thinking here. The rams replace an all-pro who had absolutely no blocking and receivers with a $50,000,000 rookie who will have the same caliber blockers and receivers- i’ll give bradford 7 games before he is carried off the field….what is funnier is that the rams fan see bradford as a savior and badmouth bulger for his contract which was half of the guarantee…
    Interesting to see the rams indoor arena –paid for by st louis taxpayers and opened in 1995 is obsolete

  31. There HAS to be a rookie wage scale.
    This happened in the NBA when the # 1 picks like Derrick Coleman and Glenn Robinson were getting $100 million dollar contracts just for being drafted. It was killing the system and fostering resentment among the players, namely the vets. The NBA corrected it (to a degree). The NFL must do the same.
    And I could care less if Bradford becomes a star or a bust. Good for him for getting the money. The owners could have said no. I understand the repercussions if the Rams didn’t pay him, but they could have said no still. A rookie wage scale would have prevented this whole discussion.

  32. This is a gotdamn shame! This som-a-biscuit is holding out for money, he hasn’t even proven he is worth, with two garbarg a$$ shoulders!!!!
    C’mon man!
    Somebody pimp slap this dude!

  33. Come on Florio. You know ownership is trying to get these vets to vote in a rookie wage scale this year. So Bradford gets a pile and the NFL tells the RFA’s “Look we can’t afford this kind of cash for them and you. Give us a new deal.” It just might work, too. Of coarse, the new union boss is a political hack so he probably wants to negotiate the new deal in the US Senate some time next fall. God I hope I’m wrong.

  34. The RAMS made a poor investment. Sam Bradford will be the next big bust due to injurries. He won’t last a full season. The guy is injury-proned! Lots of money to pay a guy who hasn’t played 2 full seasons……in college at that!

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