For all the hype on the “Suck for Luck” campaign — the race seems to be whittled down to three candidates: Indianapolis, Miami, and St. Louis.
Although many have already theorized the potential Colts scenario (Luck could be Peyton Manning’s protégé), and the Dolphins scenario (Miami management has already indicated that their 2012 season will feature a new quarterback and coach) — many have forgotten about perhaps the worst team in the NFL. Despite popular belief, it’s the Rams who would have the most to gain from landing the first overall pick.
The Rams are currently sitting at 0-6, and have scored a league low 56 points this year (9.33 ppg). Their head coach, Steve Spagnuolo, seems awfully ill-prepared as a head coach with a career record of 8-31. This is not Spagnuolo’s first time around coaching an awful team either. In his first year he failed to select a quarterback in the draft (passing on Mark Sanchez), and went through the year with a three-headed quarterback atrocity comprised of Marc Bulger, Kyle Boller and Keith Null. The Rams finished that season 1-15, which landed them the top pick in the 2010 draft.
In that draft, St. Louis selected franchise quarterback, Sam Bradford, who looked great in his rookie season. Bradford led the Rams to a 7-8 record, and was one game away from making the playoffs. However, since his 7-8 start, Bradford has lost six straight starts, including a must-win game vs. a Charlie Whitehurst-led Seahawks team in which the Rams mustered six lousy points.
Now, the Rams have an injured Bradford, who is currently wearing a boot, and are trotting out A.J. “I’m still in the league?” Feeley. So my question is, because they already have Bradford, wouldn’t the Rams have the most to gain from landing the No. 1 pick?
Think about it.
Bradford’s value is still extremely high, especially since the recent Carson Palmer trade debacle has upped the ante for a potential franchise quarterback. If the 2004 draft day Eli Manning trade is any indication, the Rams could land at least two first-round picks, plus a third- and fifth-rounder. Also, with the new contract rules for new draftees being much more favorable and affordable, the value of a top pick is higher than ever.
The Rams could conceivably go into the 2012 season with Andrew Luck, draft picks galore, and most likely a new high-profile head coach (Bill Cowher anyone?). What head coach wouldn’t want to step into that situation?
Wondering why St. Louis would pick Luck over keeping Bradford? Again Bradford has lost his last six starts and has scored 55 points in those games. For comparison’s sake, Tim Tebow’s surrounding offense is equally as sparse, and he scored more than 30 percent of that amount of points in less than three minutes last week. Bradford still might be great, but you should sell high if you could arguably get the safest No. 1 quarterback pick since Peyton Manning.
Also, there would be teams lining up to make that Bradford trade. Teams like Miami, Cleveland, Seattle, Washington and Arizona would be crazy not to take a shot at landing a young quarterback of Bradford’s caliber.
With that being said, it might be in the Rams best interest to just sit Bradford the remainder of the season. It ensures a better shot at the No. 1 pick, prevents Bradford’s value from falling, and would be best for the Rams future.