The Rams have been playing good football lately, especially for a team that lost its franchise quarterback to a knee injury right before the season. Rams coach Jeff Fisher thinks the Rams can play even better football next year, if they have that franchise quarterback on the field.
Fisher told Albert Breer of NFL Network that he wants Bradford back next year.
There is, of course, one enormous caveat: Bradford has a year left on the enormous contract he signed as the first overall pick in the draft in 2010, before the new Collective Bargaining Agreement significantly reduced the value of rookie contracts. Bradford is scheduled to get paid $13 million in 2015, and to count a whopping $16.6 million against the Rams’ salary cap. So the Rams would like to re-do Bradford’s deal.
The question, then, becomes how much of a haircut the Rams want Bradford to take, and whether Bradford thinks he has enough leverage that he could balk at a significant reduction in his pay. If Bradford thinks he would make more in free agency than the Rams are asking him to settle for, he could tell them to either pay him the $13 million for the final year of his deal or release him.
St. Louis has a lot of the pieces in place to be a playoff team next season, if the quarterback position can get stabilized. But given Bradford’s injury history and the uncertainty surrounding his contract, that’s a big “if.”