Now that the over-hyped, little changed Browns’ logo has been introduced, we can return to the area’s obsession with who should and will play quarterback for the team this fall.
Besides the local zealots who still insist Brian Hoyer should get the gig based on his “record” as a starting signal caller, there are many fans who feel Hoyer could be a good fallback option, but GM Ray Farmer should try to get someone better.
The question is…does a better option exist?
Over the past few days, it has been reported that the St. Louis Rams would be willing to trade the former first overall pick, QB Sam Bradford. Is Bradford a better option? Why do the Rams want to move him? And, what would you be willing to give up to get him?
As for the first question, Bradford’s biggest problem in his NFL career has been staying on the field, missing six games in his second season, 2011, and has played just seven games over the last two years.
When he’s been on the field, his rating has gotten better with experience, starting at 76.5 his rookie year and improving to 82.6 in his last full season (2012) and to 90.9 in the seven games he played in ’13.
He completed 60.7 of his throws that year with 14 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions.
That kind of performance would make him a god among QB’s since the Browns returned to the league in 1999.
With quarterback play on the decline in the NFL, why would the Rams be willing to move a player who is still just 27 years old?
The obvious answer is reliability. Having your “starting” quarterback available for less than 25% of your games over the last two seasons isn’t something to write home about. To be sure, Jeff Fisher would like someone who he can be sure will be out on the field most Sundays.
The other reason is Bradford’s contract, which is a $16.5 million cap hit in 2015. The Rams’ management would like to spend that kind of money on someone who will actually be playing when the games start.
For the Browns, who have tons of cap space, this isn’t a huge issue because this is the last year of the deal, so they would be out of it after one year if another injury crops up for the former Heisman Trophy winner.
It’s worth the gamble if you don’t have to pay an exorbitant price.
And what should that price be? Bradford is certainly not worth a high draft choice, because of his injury history, so there’s no way we would give up a first rounder.
Considering the Rams will get a great deal of cap space by trading Bradford, and that is most definitely worth something to them, we would figure a third or fourth round pick would be an appropriate price.
If Bradford can stay healthy and play well, behind a solid pass protecting offensive line, he could be the future QB for the Browns. If he doesn’t, he at least buys another year of development for Johnny Manziel, assuming he gets his act together.
It’s worth the gamble because it’s only a one year commitment.
Considering the other options that are out there, Farmer should look very seriously at making a deal to get Sam Bradford. He might be the best player available at this critical position.