Sam Bradford is out for the season and the Rams are without a number one quarterback to start the year but who will they turn to and how will this affect their NFL odds going forward?
ACL = A Career Lost?
The injury prone Sam Bradford, the number one overall pick in the 2010 draft, is nothing else if not consistent. Once again the injury bug has bitten the Rams franchise player and this time it bit hard. Bradford exited the preseason game against the Browns with a leg injury that turned out to be a torn ACL. This was the same injury to the same knee that sent him to the disabled list midway through the 2013 season.
Once this season ends Bradford will have missed 25 consecutive games and his career with the Rams is very much in jeopardy as his salary cap number of $17,610,000 this year and $16,580,000 for next. If the Rams decide to move on from Bradford and cut him prior to next season they will save almost $13,000,000. It appears as though that money saved will be an overwhelming reason to say goodbye to a quarterback that was supposed to be the foundation of a football renaissance in St. Louis.
Next Man Up
Shaun Hill, come on down! Yes, the 13-year veteran with the career 13-13 record is the man in the Rams driver’s seat for now. Head coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager Les Snead eschewed drafting a quarterback with the 2nd and 13th pick in this year’s draft due to their unwavering faith in Bradford as the go-to guy for this season and many to follow. Now they will rally around the 34-year-old Hill who began his NFL journey as an undrafted free agent with the Vikings coming out of the University of Maryland.
But whether or not Hill will remain the man this season is entirely up to Fisher and the options available to him. He has stated that Hill is a more feasible choice this close to the regular season than a backup with another team, whom he could land in trade, unfamiliar with the Rams offense and playbook. Of course the Rams did draft Garret Gilbert, a sixth rounder out of Southern Methodist, but he is a project that isn’t expected to be game ready this season.
Rams NFL Odds
The NFL odds on the Rams to win the Super Bowl were about 50-1 before the injury and have risen to 80-1 at shops like Bet365.com since Bradford went down. St. Louis is now checking in at around 33-1 in NFL odds to win the NFC Conference Championship which places them ahead of only Tampa Bay and Minnesota. But let’s face it. Nobody expected the Rams to go much further than ending the regular season as a .500 team which would be considered a successful season based on their 7-9 record from their 2013 campaign.
And for those who are suddenly eager to ride the wave and short the Rams, I would contend that Sam Bradford is not the force of nature that the St. Louis brass believed him to be when they picked him first overall way back in 2010. It’s almost as though they refuse to concede they were wrong and continue to cling to the notion that he is the next heir apparent to the likes of Brady, Brees, Manning and Rodgers.
Even if Bradford did show glimpses of his vast potential this season the case could easily be made that he wouldn’t make it through the entire season and at some point Shaun Hill would be trotting onto the field to take his place. The seemingly inevitable merely took place earlier than expected.
So if you’re concerned about betting the Rams in your future NFL picks or you have already included them in your NFL prop bets then I say you should stay the course. Perhaps they actually have more value now that their odds have become even more favorable with Bradford’s injury. Embrace the change because we all know that the Rams will have no option but to do just that.