TUESDAY, 10:33am: Appearing on Mike and Mike in the Morning today, Rams coach Jeff Fisher gave Bradford a vote of confidence, reiterating that the former No. 1 pick will be the team’s quarterback to start the 2014 season (link via Pro Football Talk). However, Fisher was noncommittal about the idea of an extension for Bradford, suggesting that the Rams “talk about extensions with all our players under contract.” GM Les Snead also weighed in on the possibility today, telling ESPN’s Ed Werder (Twitter link), “We have been – and still are – open to extending Sam.”
MONDAY, 6:56pm: It is unclear whether or not the Rams and quarterback Sam Bradford are working on a contract extension, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. As Florio notes, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported today that the team had no intention of extending Bradford. Flying in the face of that report was a quote from Rams COO Kevin Demoff directly contradicting the statement.
“We’ve decided Bradford is our guy. If they wanted to do a contract extension, we would do it,” Demoff said (via Twitter).
That quote came back in September, before Bradford tore his ACL and was forced to miss the majority of the 2013 season. Florio also writes that when Demoff declared Bradford to be the quarterback of the future, other members of the organization were less than convinced.
La Canfora later heard from another source that the Rams would be open to an extension for Bradford. However, even with that update, he notes that it would still be a surprise for the two parties to reach an extension, writing that “adding guaranteed money beyond the current deal would make it cumbersome for the team to part with Bradford.”
The perfect juxtaposition to what is going on with Bradford and the Rams is the Cam Newton contract situation. These two players have contracts that will forever be linked. Bradford of course, was drafted first overall in 2010, negotiating a lucrative contract of six years and $78MM, with $50MM in guaranteed money before he had ever played an NFL game. Just one year and one CBA negotiation later, Newton was the first overall pick in 2011. Newton’s contract was very different. The Panthers signed him to a four year contract worth $22MM.
This season, Newton’s contract is coming into its option year, and the sports world is preparing for him to finally start looking for his big contract with huge guaranteed money. Bradford, on the other hand, already got his huge contract, a deal that most fans and writers would argue that he did not come close of living up to.
As of the most recent reports, neither player has been engaged of talks of extension yet. While most fans and NFL people would agree that Newton has been better, maybe even far better, than Bradford through their first contracts, both players still have plenty to prove before signing their next deals. The only difference is that Bradford has already made twice as much money on his first contract, simply by virtue of entering the league one year earlier