Cam Newton vs. Sam Bradford: Which Top Draft Pick's Job Is in More Trouble?
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Question is, which player's job is in more jeopardy?
That would have to be Bradford.
While I could spew out stats to justify this answer, this is a win-loss thing.
I've heard the soundboard of excuses as to why Bradford hasn't made a winner out of the Rams: bad coaching, poor offensive line play and no receivers. With the additions of Jeff Fisher, Jake Long, Tavon Austin and Jared Cook in the last couple of years, such excuses no longer hold any merit.
Amidst this turnover, the only constants have been losing and Bradford at quarterback. As his 17-29-1 record indicates.
Newton, too, is a sub-.500 quarterback, with a 14-22 record as a starter. But, is there any doubt that he's been operating with less than a full deck of cards?
Ron Rivera is his head coach, I repeat, Ron Rivera! What's there to say about Rivera? I think Jon Deming sums it up here:
Rivera needs to get the Lane Kiffin treatment when the Panthers get back to Charlotte. #FireRonRivera— Jon Deming (@JonDeming) October 6, 2013
Then there's his supporting cast.
At receiver he's got Steve Smith and...Brandon LaFell?
In the running game, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are the stalwarts in the backfield. One thing about them, though—neither is the leading rusher. Newton led the Panthers in rushing last year.
Even with this supporting cast surrounding Newton, Carolina is no pushover, regardless of Newton's record. You can look at as a negative Newton's 10 losses in games after Carolina had a lead in the fourth quarter. The same goes for Newton's 2-14 record in games decided by seven points or fewer.
But where you see red flags, I see promise. Besides the fact that not all the losses were because of Newton, this still speaks to the fact that Carolina was in position to win the game. With these losses coming against the likes of the New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons, Newton has proven he can go toe to toe with the best the league has to offer.
I acknowledge that Newton's play often teeters between great and bad. Still, I'll take it over Bradford's consistently mediocre play. Whether it's against an Atlanta defense that even rookie Geno Smith exposed or versus a San Francisco defense minus its two best players, Bradford has the same ho-hum performance.
Not a good sign that every quarterback under Brian Schottenheimer is Mark Sanchez, or becomes him.— Marc Sessler (@MarcSesslerNFL) September 27, 2013
If that's not enough of a deterrent to steer you to my side, then Bradford's contract should.
Whereas Newton is playing under the rookie wage scale instituted in 2011, Bradford was the last bonus baby of the prior collective bargaining agreement. In 2010, Bradford signed a six-year deal with $50 million guaranteed.
He's due $27 million over the next two seasons. To put that in perspective, Newton's four-year rookie deal will net him "only" $22 million. With a career arc looking Alex Smith-like, Bradford is making way too much money for a middling starter.
It stands to reason that St. Louis should cut ties and garner a quarterback from the loaded 2014 NFL draft.
It's risky, but we saw what the safe route got St. Louis. And that's an average quarterback in Bradford and, most notably, not Robert Griffin III. Even with the public backing he has received from Fisher and Rams president Kevin Demoff, Bradfor has the more tenuous job security.
And for good reason.
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