How secure is Sam Bradford‘s future with the St. Louis Rams? That remains to be seen.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that all signs indicate that the Rams “are strongly considering taking a quarterback” in May’s draft.
Pittsburgh’s Tom Savage, South Carolina’s Connor Shaw, SMU’s Garrett Gilbert, Fresno State’s Derek Carr, Georgia’s Aaron Murray, and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd have all met or worked out with St. Louis is recent weeks.
Savage, one of the fastest-rising quarterbacks not expected to be taken in the first round, made a “top 30” visit to Rams Park. Shaw reportedly “spent a lot of time” with the team. Rams quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti and director of player personnel Taylor Morton were on hand to see Murray during the Georgia Pro Day, and scouts were also in attendance to watch Gilbert at the SMU Pro Day. The team also got a good look at Boyd when it worked out teammate Sammy Watkins, and previously met with Carr.
The common denominator: none of these quarterbacks are expected to be first-round picks, meaning the Rams want to find another quarterback, but are more inclined to take one in the middle rounds.
“I don’t think there’s any question the Rams are taking a quarterback,” NFL Draft analyst Gil Brandt told the Post-Dispatch. “(General manager) Les Snead has been around looking at those guys.”
So with a quarterback now on the Rams’ radar, what does the future hold for Bradford, who is still projected to be the team’s starter?
Bradford has two years remaining on his rookie contract and is expected to be under center when the 2014 season gets underway. Backing him up will be veteran Shaun Hill, who was signed in the offseason, and whoever the team selects in next month’s draft.
Earlier this week, CBS Sports reported Bradford could still garner a strong return if he is placed on the trade market. Per Jason La Canfora, several NFL executives believe the Rams “might be best served” by taking a proactive approach with Bradford.
Per La Canfora:
If I could opt out now — with Bradford having two years and $27M left on his deal but all of his $50M in guaranteed money already in his pocket — and get decent value in return, that might be too good to pass up. And several other execs I spoke with thought the Rams might be best served by taking a proactive approach to this conundrum. A team could select multiple quarterbacks in the first round of multiple drafts, for instance, and still not owe their cumulative 2014 quarterback the $14M Bradford is set to make this season.
The report names the usual suspects — the Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, and the Buffalo Bills — as possible landing spots for Bradford if the teams prefer a veteran over a rookie. According to some league executives, Bradford is “still a pretty popular figure” that some coaches could help reach his full potential.