Yesterday I opened the door to discussion about the Browns acquiring St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford via trade.
It was spurred by an article Charley Casserley wrote on NFL.com, in which he opined that a viable option for the Rams would be to trade Bradford and use the second overall pick in the draft on Robert Griffin III — except that he (Casserley) likes Bradford better than RG III.
Clearly a possible Bradford trade would have to interest the Browns — especially if they could get him with the fourth overall pick and a future second- or third-round choice.
It also would be intriguing to give Jim Brown some kind of magic potion to bring him back in his prime.
Which is about as likely to happen as a Bradford trade.
The Rams have committed themselves to their quarterback emotionally and financially.
The team has gone out of its way to say that they believe in Bradford. Owner Stan Kroenke told the St. Louis Post Dispatch in January:“Sam is a big talent. Our opinion on Sam hasn’t changed.”
The day he was hired as coach, Jeff Fisher said Bradford’s presence led him to choose St. Louis as his next employer instead of Miami (what … Bradford over Chad Henne?).
“Sam was a big part of the decision,” Fisher said. “We think he has a chance to be great. A lot of people around the league believe that. We are going to do everything possible to make that happen.”
He then went and hired Brian Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator.
Then there are the financial considerations, which for the Rams are many:
Trading Bradford would, according to reports, result in a $14.4 million acceleration to the Rams’ salary cap. That is a huge amount of dead space on a team’s cap. The Rams could accept it if they truly believe Griffin is all that, but their public statements indicate they believe in the guy they’ve already invested two years and $30 million in bringing along.
Trading Bradford would mean the Rams would have to accept that $14.4 million in dead space, then pay the second and fourth picks in the draft — presumably Griffin and perhaps offensive tackle Ryan Kalil. That’s a ton of money on top of a ton of dead space.
Last year the Rams gave Bradford $17 million in bonus money. That’s a huge commitment to a guy, too big to turn around and trade him a year later.
The Browns might wish they could acquire Bradford for those same reasons — much of the bonus has been paid by St. Louis … Bradford has two years experience …But it almost seems as if the Rams would be entering Ted Stepien territory to even consider the possibility.
Everyone may go back to reading their RG III scouting reports now.