Back in 2010, the Rams took Sam Bradford with the first overall pick. He started as a rookie but injuries and inconsistency (mostly injuries) have seen him play in 49 of 64 games during his four-year career.
Over that time, he's completed 59 percent of his passes and thrown 59 touchdowns against 38 interceptions. According to Football Outsiders' total QB value metric, Bradford has ranked 34th, 38th, 16th and 14th over his four seasons. There has been improvement but durability concerns remain. That, along with the two years and $27 million remaining on his rookie deal, could mean that Bradford isn't in the Rams' long-term plans. In related news: There's also the very real possibility that the team drafts a quarterback next month.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jim Thomas writes that, "The consistent signal from Rams Park is that the team wants to take a quarterback in the mid-rounds, someone who isn't a project and could compete for a starting job in a year or two."
Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage, who could be a high second-round pick, has visited Rams park, and scouts, members of the coaching staff and/or front office types have attended the pro days of Georgia's Aaron Murray, SMU's Garrett Gilbert and, reportedly, Fresno State's Derek Carr.
Other possibilities include Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo, Alabama's A.J. McCarron, and Louisiana State's Zach Mettenberger into the mix. Whomever it is, the expectation is that they won't challenge Bradford for the job right away.
"Sam's gonna be our starter," Rams general manager Les Snead told NFL Network last month, "so there'd be no reason to take someone you're not planning to play."
And coach Jeff Fisher said over the weekend that Bradford, once fully recovered from the ACL injury that limited him to seven games last season, is the key to the team's success in 2014.
"I'm very disappointed for him because of the injury (in 2013)," Fisher said, via thePost-Dispatch. "But we really have no reservation whatsoever that he's gonna have any trouble coming back. “You're not gonna hear a head coach say he has a player on his team that's not ahead of schedule coming off an ACL. Everybody says they're all ahead of schedule. But he is realistically way ahead of schedule. He's working hard. ... Since (Steven Jackson) left, it's really pretty much become his locker room from a leadership standpoint, at least on the offensive side of the ball. And he's continuing with that as he rehabs."
But if Bradford can't stay on the field in 2014, whomever the Rams draft next month could be the starter in 2015. Making the decision even easier: Bradford's $13 million cap hit in the final year of his deal.