St. Louis Rams: So What Does Bradford's New Contract Mean?

David HeebCorrespondent IJune 1, 2012

Sam Bradford's new deal is a good thing for the Rams.
Sam Bradford's new deal is a good thing for the Rams.Jay Drowns/Getty Images

Sam Bradford recently reworked his rookie contract, the largest ever signed by an NFL rookie. This was a very shrewd move by Rams management, as it opens up several possibilities.

As reported by Howard Balzer, Bradford's deal was restructured to remove $6 million of the guaranteed money Bradford was owed, including a total of $6.41 million from the last two years of his deal. Basically, the Rams have paid Bradford his guaranteed money now, so that the final years on the contract are non-guaranteed. So if the Rams did cut ties with Bradford after 2013, the cap hit would be $7.19 million. That cap hit could be divided over two years.

However, Jeff Fisher has made it clear that if it's up to him, Bradford isn't going anywhere.

Fisher recently told Jim Rome, "The reason I came here is because of Sam. We've got a franchise quarterback here."

So what the Rams are hoping happens is Bradford plays well and continues to improve. That would allow for a new contract and extension entering the 2014 season that would convert those base salaries into a signing bonus and thus reduce the cap hits.

This is the way business is done in the NFL. The Rams are simply trying to clean up their books. By giving Bradford the $6 million in guaranteed money now, they are simply clearing more cap room for the future. As it stands now, Bradford's contract amounts to a cap hit of $15.595 million this year, $12.595 million in 2013, $17.610 million in 2014 and $16.58 million in 2015.

The Rams are simply paying Bradford now, so they can move that money around in the future to pay other players, while at the same time extending Bradford's contract. It's good business. Bradford isn't going anywhere, and the Rams are just making sure they have enough money left over to get him some help.