First off, hat tip to the Viking Age for seeing this tweet first, and shame on me for living here in St. Louis and missing it.
What tweet, you ask? Here:
La Canfora: There are people in the league who believe the Rams have had conversations with the Vikings about trading Sam Bradford.— Tim McKernan (@tmckernan) May 5, 2014
Tim McKernan is a fairly well respected sports talk guy here in town, so I don't think this is just one of those wild rumors people throw out, just to see what sticks. I had seen a couple of real nebulous tweets on my timeline over the weekend that mentioned a trade near the top of the draft, involving a quarterback, and that it would send ripples throughout the NFL.
Yeah, check, check, and check on all accounts. As a guy that lives in St. Louis, let me give you a little perspective on Sam Bradford--I really like him, but as a guy that made $50 million guaranteed, he's starting to wear out his welcome here. It's not nearly as bad as the Ponder situation in Minnesota, but there's a growing sentiment of discontent among a vocal portion of the fan base.
He hasn't had much to work with in his four years with the Rams, and a lot of that discontent is with the team in general, at least I think so. Of course, the QB takes all the blame and gets all the credit, so a lot of arrows are headed in Bradford's direction. He's also been hurt twice in his four year, to include a torn ACL last year.
That was really unfortunate for him, though, as he really seemed to make a lot of strides. At the time of his injury, which came in the 7th game of the year, he had thrown for 1,687 yards, 14 TD passes, only four interceptions, and a career high QB rating of 90.9.
So is this something that could make sense? Yeah, it could. Bradford is a big, pocket passer guy--almost a prototypical Norv Turner quarterback, if he could pick one. Big arm, smart, and has enough experience running an NFL offense. So yeah, I believe Bradford is a guy that the Vikings could be targeting in a trade.
But at what cost? The thing that makes me think that this isn't going to happen is because it really could really limit the Vikings on draft day. To get Bradford, as TVA pointed out, first off he'd have to re-structure his contract, as he is due to make close to $18 million this year.
But secondly, how would a Bradford trade work? Currently the Rams have two first round picks, the second and the 13th. If the Rams are targeting a QB in the draft, they can pick one at two, or they can pick one at 13. Coaxing a trade out of the Vikings isn't going to require the Rams to move up or down, negating the swapping of picks in either direction.
However, Turf Show Times is reporting a lot of smoke attached to the Rams and Johnny Manziel, and while the second pick is probably too early to take him, the thirteenth is probably too late. Which means the eighth pick...the Vikings pick...could be right in the Manziel wheelhouse. And that could really put this rumor into play.
I don't think there's any way Minnesota would trade their first round pick for Bradford straight up, but would the Rams be foolish enough to let him go for one of the third round picks the Vikes hold? I don't see that as a real possibility, either, because if they did that would leave them with only two quarterback on their roster, Austin Davis and Shaun Hill, neither of which are guys I'd want to start the season with. And then whoever they drafted, naturally.
When looking at this, there's a couple things that make me think this is a possibility, but there are more red flags that make me think this isn't feasible, unless other players would be involved.
Like...ahem...and this is my own, wild, unsubstantiated speculation that hasn't been confirmed by anyone, just so we're clear...Christian Ponder, for example. Ponder needs a new start, Bradford arguably needs a new one away from St. Louis. Swap QB's, Vikings throw in a late round pick, say a 4th or 5th rounder. Bradford re-does his deal, plus the Vikings lose the money from Ponder's cap number (just over $3 million), and now this seems doable.
At the end of the day, I still don't see this happening, but when you throw in that McKernan tweet, add in the 'Manziel and Rams' smoke, and a wheeler and dealer like GM Rick Spielman, anything is possible.
UPDATE: Ian Rapoport tweeted this out just a little while ago:
Looks like we got us a Rapoport/La Canfora THROWDOWN, WOOOO!!!