The St. Louis Rams reportedly have no interest – or do they? – in extending quarterback Sam Bradford, who still has two years and $27 million left on his contract.
Bradford, 26, has missed 15 games over the last three seasons, including nine in 2013. He has thrown for 59 touchdowns and 38 interceptions in his four-year career.
“Look, what they’ll tell you publicly and privately is, ‘We’re open to anything,’” CBS NFL insider Jason La Canfora said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Would they do an extension that doesn’t bind him to them beyond 2015 and doesn’t include any real new guaranteed money and keeps the cap number down and keeps them flexible? Sure, you listen. Is that what he’s going to want to do? No. Would that be a true extension? No.
“I mean, look, they very well could draft a quarterback,” La Canfora continued. “There’s a lot of things that could happen between now and May, between now and the draft. If a quarterback falls in their lap where they’re picking – if it makes sense for them – you could get someone in the first five picks who will make (roughly) $25 million over five years. They have to pay Sam Bradford $27 million over the next two years, but as you know, the guaranteed money’s been paid. They could walk from him without any real cap or cash ramifications. So this is something they’re going to have to determine.”
The Rams have the second pick in the draft. Do they take Jadeveon Clowney? Or do they take Johnny Manziel, if he’s available?
“That’s one of the most interesting things for me in the whole week approaching the draft, especially as we see what these quarterbacks can do,” La Canfora said. “Does it make more sense for the Rams to move on – (rather) than to continue down this road paying him another $13 million this year?”
Time will tell.
Elsewhere in the league, teams are looking for ways to cut their roster in salary cap-friendly ways.
For Denver, that might mean cutting Champ Bailey.
“I think he’s going to have to take a massive pay cut,” La Canfora said. “There’s no way around it. There’s no way they can pay him $11 million next year. That’s just not who he is at this stage of his career. But he wants to be there; he wants to win a Super Bowl. Maybe they work something out, but we’re talking a couple of million – versus 10 or 11 million.”
The defending Super Bowl champions, meanwhile, will likely be without Sidney Rice ($8.5 million), as well as Chris Clemons ($9.6 million against the cap) and Zach Miller ($7 million against the cap)
Elsewhere, Dallas is expected to cut Miles Austin, who is set to make $5.5 million, and possibly even DeMarcus Ware, who is due $13 million. San Francisco may cut Carlos Rogers (base salary of $6.25 million with a cap hit of $8.1 million). And New England may cut defensive stalwart Vince Wilfork, who is owed 7.5 million at a cap hit of $11.6 million.
As for the Jets? The Jets will likely cut Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie.
The Saints, on the other hand, have no interest in cutting Jimmy Graham, but they do intend to franchise-tag him. But will Graham be franchised as a tight end, which is his official position, or a wide receiver, which is where he plays the majority of his snaps?
Again, time will tell.
“(The difference between the two positions is) over $5 million,” La Canfora said. “And remember, that money is guaranteed.”