NFL: Only One Of These Teams Is Smart

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NFL: Only One Of These Teams Is Smart

It is a fact that only one first-round draft pick has signed up to this point.  Dez Bryant agreed to a 5-year $11.8 million contract.  Good for him!  Tony Romo needs a solid target outside of Miles Austin.  No one could ever accuse Jerry Jones of being a follower!

However, other teams are close to deals with draft picks and this will likely open the flood gates for contracts getting done.  Of the three teams listed in this column–St. Louis, Buffalo, and Cleveland–only one is smart.  Only one made a good move, and you’ll be surprised which one it is.

It’s not every day that two quarterbacks and a running back–each one a household name–can produce two bad choices and only one smart choice.  However, that’s what we have here.

The Rams Reached Too Far On This One

I’ve heard rumor after rumor that the Rams are prepared to give Sam Bradford–the #1 overall pick in 2010–an unprecedented contract.  More money guaranteed than ever, and more money overall than ever.

Sam Bradford looked great at Oklahoma in 2008.  He won the Heisman Trophy.  He ran a juggernaut offense that steamrolled Big 12 defenses left and right.  Bradford also had a cannon for an arm.

Then Bradford’s throwing arm was injured at the beginning of the 2009 season.  He missed the rest of the season.  He was still on the “#1 watch” because St. Louis tanked the season early.

When Bradford started working out for NFL teams his arm was declared “healed” and everything was ok.  Hell, the Rams even cut Marc Bulger so there wouldn’t be a competition for the starting quarterback job.

Everyone on the planet knew where Bradford was going with a recently injured throwing arm.  Now, he’s landed in St. Louis and the Rams are going to guarantee him–if the rumors are true–more money than anybody.  Don’t you think that’s a reach?

For every Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan there’s 5 Akili Smiths, Ryan Leafs, or Jamarcus Russells.  You can’t deny that there are more misses than hits in the QB draft market.

So for the Rams to give a #1 overall draft pick at quarterback who has a recently injured throwing arm, unprecedented money is just foolish.

You could give him a fairly large contract, but save some of that “unprecedented money” to sign players to go around Bradford.  Plus, wouldn’t you want to be cautious with the guy who missed all of last season?

The Sam Bradford pick–as of right now–was stupid.  His impending contract is stupid.  The Rams are just being stupid.

I thought getting rid of Marc Bulger was smart, but not for an unproven kid with a potentially bad arm!  They could have made a play for Donovan McNabb.  They could have made a play for Derek Anderson.  They could have done anything but this.

He’ll have to start right away and he’ll either break the “sacked” record held by David Carr, or he’ll lose all his confidence in a couple of  bad games.  I don’t want Sam Bradford to fail, but when it’s all said and done he might be right up there in the “failure” category with Jamarcus Russell.

Buffalo Drafted The Wrong “Skill” Player

Buffalo spent the #9 overall pick on C.J. Spiller.  He’s an all-world running back from Clemson.  He holds so many ACC and Clemson offensive records that I’m not going to even bother to list them.

C.J. Spiller is a fantastic player, but the Bills have other needs, don’t they?

I know that Trent Edwards at QB is a nice guy, but can he really do something there?  The Bills could have had Colt McCoy, Jimmy Clausen, or Tim Tebow.  For a while, I thought Tebow was going to Buffalo.

The Buffalo defense isn’t fantastic either.  The Bills could have had Earl Thomas, Brandon Graham, Derrick Morgan, Dan Williams, or Jared Odrick in the first round alone.

Oops!

I consider “skill” positions to be quarterback, running back, receiver, and everyone on defense.  There were 18 players taken after Spiller who fit that bill.  Buffalo didn’t look at any of these other guys?

Do they really think that a smallish running back who can’t run between the tackles is going to make their team “dazzling”?  How in the world does this make sense?

C.J. Spiller, unfortunately, won’t do even a fraction of what he did in college.  Playing in Buffalo–in the freezing cold–is not conducive to his kind of game.  Plus, that is not what the Bills are all about.

When Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, and Thurman Thomas went to four straight Super Bowls they weren’t flashy–they were effective.  C. J. Spiller will be flashy, but not effective.

Cleveland Just Made A Killing

The Browns are close to a deal with Colt McCoy.  Remember when they drafted McCoy?  In the third round.  Colt McCoy took Texas to the BCS National title game and his arm went “dead” on a fluke play.  I felt bad for him, but that kind of thing happens.

He went on the same kind of “rehab tour” that Sam Bradford went on.  Every major news outlet had someone following McCoy around every second of every day.  McCoy wasn’t very forthcoming, but one day his arm was declared “healed” just like Sam Bradford.

McCoy fell all the way to the third round where Cleveland scooped him up.  They traded Brady Quinn and let Derek Anderson go.  They signed Jake Delhomme to a short contract and cleared the way for McCoy to become “the man”.

Plus, the contract on the table for McCoy is a four year deal worth about $5 million.  That’s plenty of money–we know McCoy won’t complain–and he’ll capitalize on the opportunity to become “the man” in Cleveland.

Cleveland took DB Joe Haden–out of Florida no less–in the 1st Round and waited patiently for the QB of the future.  Instead of throwing all their money away on a kid who will have to start now, they can save their money and develop a young quarterback.

All that “saved money” will go to players who will play around McCoy.   When–and if–he proves himself, the team around him will be whole.  We can’t say the same for Sam Bradford.  I never thought I’d say this, but the Cleveland Browns made a smart play.  They’re definitely going places this time around.

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