One wild card in the Vikings' quest for a new quarterback is the situation in St. Louis, where the Rams are facing Sam Bradford's huge salary cap number while also staring at the chance to start over at QB with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.
The Rams have three options: extend Bradford's contract, thus making him more cap-friendly but also tying the team to the QB for a longer term; keep Bradford and his huge $17.6 million cap number this year; or cut him, save money and start over in the draft.
That latter option is the one most potentially intriguing to QB-needy teams, including the Vikings. Bradford was drafted before the new rookie contract deals were in place, which is why he costs so much. If he was cut, of course, he would be looking at a new deal.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher tried to quell speculation over that scenario, though, with an appearance on Mike and Mike. Per SI.com:
“Sam’s doing great with the rehab,” Fisher said. “He’s really excited. He took on a leadership role last year and he’s maintained that and he’s our quarterback, and we’ve said that.”
Fisher would not commit, however, to a new contract for Bradford, who will count $17.6 million against the Rams’ salary cap this year. Some reports have suggested that a new contract is likely, other reports have suggested that a new contract is unlikely, and Fisher says he’s not sure where any of those reports originated.
“We talk about extensions with all our players under contract. Whether or not we do so with him, I don’t know where all this came from, but Sam’s our quarterback. He’s going to be under center,” Fisher said.
It's February -- coaches and GMs have a habit of not tipping their hand this time of year. After all, it was almost exactly this time in 2013 when Rick Spielman said the Vikings were not planning to trade Percy Harvin. Fisher's words seem chosen fairly carefully.
Maybe we're reading too much into it. The larger question: If the Rams cut Bradford, is he someone the Vikings should take a long look at? He's coming off ACL surgery, but he was playing his best football of his career when he was hurt. Is he a guy who could be an upper-echelon QB or would he be a waste of time?