INDIANAPOLIS — Rams general manager Les Snead was nearly through his 15-minute session with the media Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine when he was asked about a report from cbssports.com that the team had given quarterback Sam Bradford permission to seek a trade.
Never mind that another team trading for a player coming off his second torn ACL as a pro and entering the final season of a contract that pays him just under $13 million makes little sense. It was left to Snead to react sarcastically to the NFL’s never-ending, 24/7 reporting cycle by saying, "That’s breaking news is what that is. You know what I mean?"
Earlier in comments about Bradford, Snead had said: "Let’s don’t delete him; that’s not the answer. I think the answer is providing insurance in case you go through more bad luck."
Then, after his "breaking news" comment, Snead reiterated: "I did say deleting him is not the answer. I don’t know if that solves our riddle. He’s a good quarterback. If some team was interested, I don’t blame them, but I’ll stick to what I said earlier: Deleting him is not the answer."
Snead said the dialogue has begun regarding a contract restructuring that would lower Bradford’s salary. He also said talks are ongoing with Hill and that the club is close to deciding the tender Davis will receive. The lowest tender would be about $1.6 million, which would net the Rams no compensation if Davis were to receive an offer from another team — an offer the Rams assuredly would elect not to match because he entered the league as an undrafted free agent.
A tender of about $2.4 million would result in a second-round pick as compensation. "We haven’t totally decided yet, but we have a good feel for it," Snead said.
The Bradford situation could be sensitive depending on how much of a cut the Rams want him to take and what the level of performance bonuses would be to earn some, if not all, of the money back. It’s certainly plausible that agent Tom Condon has been given the go-ahead to gauge the level of interest around the league.
Still, it’s noteworthy that the source of the report, Jason La Canfora, interviewed Snead on a cbssports.com podcast just minutes before the report was tweeted, and that Snead told La Canfora the team wants Bradford back.
La Canfora followed his initial tweet with another one:
That’s clearly what the Rams want, but Bradford has a certain amount of leverage because the reality is that the pool of veteran quarterbacks and rookies might not provide the team with an upgrade over Hill and Davis.
In the end, Rams working out a restructured contract w/Bradford still may be most likely outcome. Thought it's been slow process thus far
"Deleting them is not the answer, either," Snead said. "The pool of (available) quarterbacks is usually the slimmest of any of the pools of players, and that definitely comes into play. But let’s get Sam healthy and when he’s healthy let’s let him go compete because he has the chance to be a heck of a starting quarterback."
Perhaps Snead’s most eye-opening comment was that keeping Hill and Davis wouldn’t rule out other options.
"Let those guys evolve and you bring in some more," he said. "Let’s have a starting pitching lineup of QBs. There’s some reasoning behind it. You may keep more quarterbacks on your roster so if you draft one, you go with one you need to develop and have the time to develop him."
Yet, Snead acknowledged again that more might not mean better. "Quarterbacks are hard to find," he said. "You have to turn over every stone. There are a lot of avenues where you can add options. There are a lot of stones to turn over, but people don’t want to give you good quarterbacks."
When it was noted that there don’t appear to be many stones out there, Snead laughed. "Oh, there’s stones out there," he said, "but when you turn them over, there’s nothing under them."
Howard Balzer can be heard daily on H & Friends from 9-11 a.m. on FoxSportsRadio 1490.