The pressure is on Sam Bradford. The St. Louis Rams showed good faith in the quarterback and opted not to draft a quarterback when they could have grabbed players like Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles. Instead, the Rams backed up their statement that Bradford is their franchise quarterback, at least for one more season. As the quarterback continues to rehab his torn ACL, do the Rams make a move for insurance?
Head coach Jeff Fisher remained confident that Bradford would be healthy for offseason workouts and the first game of the 2014 season. Fisher told NFL Network's NFL AM that Bradford has not suffered any setbacks in his recovery after undergoing surgery and will be healthy by the start of training camp. He is confident that Bradford will return an even better quarterback than in 2013.
"Everybody does projections. We projected his numbers out had he stayed healthy last year," Fisher said. "They would have been quite impressive, and who knows what would have happened down the stretch."
Bradford essentially has a one year audition. The Rams originally signed the quarterback to a six-year contract with $50 million in guaranteed money. He will be an unrestricted free agent come 2016, but is much more tradable after this season. Fisher did not address it, but Bradford took a few steps back last season when he was healthy. Even with star receivers like Tavon Austin, Bradford failed to display that golden arm everyone touted him as having. If he has another season of low numbers and inconsistencies, the Rams could be in trouble.
NFL.com suggests the Rams add one more body to quarterback roster that could ideally step in should things get ugly. The issue is that outside of Bradford, St. Louis has no one. Shaun Hill is the veteran backup having spent 13 years in the league. Austin David is on the roster as is Garrett Gilbert who came in the sixth round. If Bradford struggles with injuries or stats, the Rams will be in trouble and could make a deal in the next few weeks to at least help with camp.
The free agent market is slim pickings at the moment. The best available player is Josh Freeman who was recently released by the New York Giants. He showed starting capabilities with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but failed to make an impact after getting signed by the Minnesota Vikings. He could easily step in and work as the top backup to Bradford. That would give Freeman a chance to develop while giving the Rams an insurance policy on the offense.
If Freeman is not an option, the team could make a trade for a backup. Ryan Mallett and Kirk Cousins are too expensive while Mike Glennon and Ryan Nassib are unavailable. However, the Rams could show interest in Oakland Raiders backup Matt McGloin. The Raiders have Matt Schaub with Derek Carr as the backup and future of the franchise. McGloin is not getting higher than three on the depth chart, but could be a quality addition behind Bradford. There is no confirmation that the Rams have inquired about a deal, but he would be the best option should something happen with Bradford.