Prepared to take Sam Bradford with the first-overall pick, the Rams released long-time quarterback Marc Bulger in 2010. And, eleven years ago today, the Pro Bowler found his next home. On June 23, 2010, Bulger signed a one-year, $3.8MM deal with the Ravens, potentially worth up to $5.8MM via incentives.
Bulger, a 2000 sixth-round pick out of West Virginia, bounced around the NFL during his rookie season, spending time with the Saints and Falcons. He eventually landed on the Rams practice squad, although he was inactive for his entire rookie campaign. He got his first chance to start during the 2002 season following injuries to Kurt Warner and Jamie Martin. Bulger led the team to a 6-0 record to wrap up the year, and he ultimately earned the full-time starting gig in 2003.
Bulger would go on to earn a pair of Pro Bowl nods during his time with the Rams, including a 2006 campaign when he completed 62.9% of his passes for 4,301 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. The Rams inked him to a six-year, $62.5MM extension following that standout campaign, but Bulger’s product dropped soon after. Between 2007 and 2008, Bulger threw more interceptions than touchdowns, and he missed half of the 2009 season due to injury.
Some say Bulger requested his release in 2010, but the Rams had plenty of their own reasons to move on. They had already signed A.J. Feeley to be Bradford’s backup, and releasing Bulger saved the team $8.5MM.
After all of that, Bulger spent nearly three months in free agency limbo. He came to Baltimore to backstop third-year pro Joe Flacco, but he didn’t see the field in 2010. Bulger drew some interest in the spring of 2011, but he ultimately decided to hang up his cleats.
It was an unceremonious ending to a pretty underrated career. Bulger currently sits second on the Rams’ list of all-time passing yard leaders and third in touchdowns. While his tenure in Baltimore was forgettable, Rams fans will remember Bulger’s contribution for years to come.