by Kent Sterling
The Rams felt pretty good about quarterback Sam Bradford, so they dealt the number two pick in the 2012 NFL Draft to the Washington Redskins for the sixth pick and a second rounder that year, and the first round picks in 2013 and 2014.
That looked like a good deal at the time for both teams, but the continued deals to amass more picks and the recent implosion by the Redskins could make this trade the gift that keeps on giving for the Rams.
If the season ended today, the final pick bequeathed to the Rams in exchange for RG3 would be the #2 overall pick, and it could easily become the top pick if the Houston Texans pick up a win during the last three weeks of the season.
That would bring the bounty for the Rams to the #6 and #39 picks in 2012, the #22 pick in 2013, and the #2 selection in 2014. All but the #39 pick in 2012 were subsequently dealt for additional picks that represent a significant portion of their current roster.
If the Redskins simply maintain their spot at #2, the Rams could parlay that selection into another deal that will reap similar benefits. Given their own mediocrity this season, the Rams are looking at two top ten picks in the 2014 draft that could easily become two top five picks.
For the last two years, the Rams have been the youngest team in the NFL, and they are likely to have access to additional youth with the picks available to them in the 2014 draft.
The decision that looms for the Rams is whether they will continue to indulge in the fantasy that supposed franchise quarterback Sam Bradford will become the type of on and off field leader needed for the team to take a leap to the next level. Before Bradford tore his ACL at Carolina, he had never proven himself able to win in the NFL, and it’s not likely that after a knee injury he is going to improve.
Would the Rams go after a quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr, or Johnny Manziel to turn the page on the Bradford era, despite salary cap hits for Bradford of $17.6 and $16.6 million over the next two seasons. Bradford’s was the final non-slotted overall #1 pick, and as a result, the Rams continue to pay dearly for what appears to have been a mistake.
It’s not that Bradford is a total bust, but there is something missing with the guy. He is a bit of a loner whose missed reads caused the offense difficulty moving the ball for his first three seasons. Bradford was better this year, but still not the kind of quarterback who can be projected to lead his team deep into a postseason minus a dominating defense.
The Redskins self-immolation has given the Rams a chance to acquire one more dominant player, or parlay it into a multiple contributors. Regardless, the Rams have proven the excellent logic of trading with a team run by a meddlesome owner. In trades, it’s rarely the intellect of the general manager that determines the success or failure of the deal; it’s a matter of finding saps unable to see the folly of their own decisions.
In poker, success or failure is not determined by the quality of the cards nearly as much as the quality of the other players at the table. Trading the number two pick wasn’t the move that proved the Rams smart in the RG3 deal. It was the fact they chose the Dan Snyder run Redskins as their quarry with whom they made the deal.
As the Rams continue to develop and mature, the wisdom of this trade will become more and more obvious, as will the continued idiocy of the Snyder regime in Washington DC.