FOX Sports Exclusive
Rams confident about Bradford signing
EARTH CITY, Mo.
The St. Louis Rams won’t be pursuing free-agent wide receiver Terrell Owens, but another big-name player should soon be under contract.
Rams general manager Billy Devaney told FOXSports.com there is a “really good chance” that a deal will be completed with rookie quarterback Sam Bradford by the time training camp opens Thursday at team headquarters.
Unlike the past two players chosen with the No. 1 overall pick, St. Louis didn’t have a pre-draft contract agreement in place before selecting Bradford. But Rams executive Kevin Demoff and Bradford’s agents Tom Condon and Ben Dogra have worked extensively on a multiyear deal that should pay Bradford in the range of $45 million to $50 million in guaranteed money.
Devaney said Bradford’s performances at the team’s offseason practices reinforced what he learned about the former University of Oklahoma standout in predraft scouting.
“He looks like he’s unflappable,” Devaney said. “He doesn’t get too high or low. He’s a smart guy. Being a great player means something to him. What really jumped out is that he’s got a tremendous respect for the NFL and his peers. He doesn’t put himself like the first pick in the draft.”
Devaney said Bradford will be in a three-way competition with A.J. Feeley and Keith Null for the starting position during training camp. Feeley would play if the season started today, but the 10-year journeyman is considered a placeholder until Bradford is deemed ready for action. Null is a 2009 sixth-round pick who started four games last season after Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller were injured.
“Nobody wins a job in OTAs and minicamps. That’s with any position,” Devaney said. “You go to training camp, that’s when the battle begins. It will be an open competition. I know it sounds crazy, but Keith Null will be in the mix. He made great strides from year one. I don’t want to discount him. We’re going to see what he looks like, too.”
Whoever is under center won’t have Owens as a target. As reported by FOXSports.com NFL insider Jay Glazer, the Rams have opted against trying to sign Owens after discussing the matter internally on Monday.
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Owens would have bolstered a wide receiver corps sorely lacking a proven veteran target. The Rams’ projected starters are Laurent Robinson and Donnie Avery. Robinson played in only three games last year because of a leg injury. Avery, the first wide receiver picked in the 2008 draft (33rd overall), had 47 receptions for 589 yards and five touchdowns last season.
Devaney, though, said adding another wide receiver wasn’t a must for the Rams.
“We’re comfortable with our wideouts,” Devaney said before news broke on the team’s decision about Owens. “I know it sounds crazy because they’re not household names. We may not have that real famous No. 1 go-to guy right now. But as a group, they have a chance to be pretty good. We’ve got a lot of guys who can be real solid NFL players. It’s not like we’re gnashing our teeth saying, ‘If we don’t have T.O., we’re screwed.’ Not even close.”