Talks between Sam Bradford’s representation and the St. Louis Rams officially began today. This will be the richest player contract in the history of the NFL.
When it comes to NFL contracts, you need to know two things. One, the signing bonus is the most important matter, because it’s the only guaranteed money. Since the sport is so physical and the typical shelf life of a player is so short (roughly 3-4 years), there is no way a team will guarantee the entire contract.
Two, contracts are largely negotiated based on other player contracts. For example, last season, the first overall pick Matthew Stafford (also a QB), signed a six-year, $72 million contract. $41.7 million of that contract (58%) was guaranteed.
My guess? Bradford will sign a contract worth $80 million over six years, with a signing bonus of $46.3 million.
Does he deserve this? No. He seems to be a great person and hard worker, but no rookie deserves much over the league minimum, because they haven’t proven themselves at the professional level.
Furthermore, Bradford had a badly injured throwing shoulder toward the end of his college career. Despite fortitude and determination, that is not something you can overcome quickly, if at all.
However, the Rams are desperate. If he works out, they will be fortunate. But realistically, the Rams are spending way too much money for an investment that is questionable.
Is Bradford the right player for the Rams? Probably.
Does he deserve the richest contract in league history? Unequivocally, he does not.
No rookie does.
Thanks for reading.