(FootballStL) - The more you listen to Jeff Fisher talk and – more importantly – the more you really think about the external quarterback options the Rams will have in the offseason the more you start to realize as long as Sam Bradford remains healthy he will likely open the 2015 season as the starting QB.
Now, that whole “healthy” part is obviously anything but a guarantee.
But you’d have to imagine the only thing that can derail the former #1 overall pick out of Oklahoma from taking the snaps in Week 1 next year is his own body. Because the other options are less than stellar.
First and foremost, even if the Rams draft a quarterback – which they likely will at some point – do you really think that rookie is going to come in and be BETTER than Bradford right away? Even the best of the best quarterbacks struggled at least a little bit in their first ever training camps.
And the Rams ain’t getting John Elway in the draft.
Next, free agency. Have you seen the crop that’s available come March? Cleveland’s Brian Hoyer might be the best one out there. He excite you? I know his 12 to 13 touchdown to interception ratio certainly gets my blood boiling. How about Christian Ponder? He’s so good Minnesota drafted Teddy Bridgewater in the 1st round just a couple years after making Ponder the 12th overall pick in 2011.
Michael Vick? He’s more of a name than a true starter in the NFL at this point. Mark Sanchez? He’s turned the football over 103 times in his last 71 regular season games. Jake Locker? I’m not opposed to giving him a look but the former 1st round pick’s been hurt about as much as Bradford the last few years.
This is the point. Really good quarterbacks don’t find their way to free agency. Teams lock them up. They let the ones they don’t care about get away and go somewhere else. Quarterback is way too valuable of a position in the league to just waste talent. Even if you have a top of the line starter there’s no problem stockpiling depth behind him.
Take all of this together and you’ll see that, yes, the Rams will go out and get some guy to come in and be a nice Plan B for the 2015 season. Locker would get my vote based simply on being the least of all the evils but I certainly can understand those who point to his injury history and low touchdown rate.
But simply getting a “guy” doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have real competition for Bradford’s job. Sam Bradford is really good. Some fans may not want to see it. They’ll hold him responsible for being the top pick in the 2010 draft but hasn’t gotten this team over the hump. That’s unfair.
The Oklahoma alum was having a career season in 2013 before going down with the first of two ACL tears against Carolina on October 20th. He’s QB rating was at an all-time high (90.9) and he was on pace for 30 touchdown passes along with just 10 interceptions.
The way I see it, the Rams will get someone to be a better Plan B in case Bradford gets hurt next year while also drafting someone for the future. If Bradford stays healthy, he gets one final chance to prove he should be the guy going forward and is deserving of another contract. If he gets hurt, at least you have the better Plan B to get you through 2015 and you also have that rookie who develops for 2016 and beyond.
But no matter how you slice it, it’s very difficult to envision Sam Bradford staying healthy AND getting beaten out by someone. There’s just no one good enough out there for the Rams to get.