Marc Bulger cleaned out his locker on Feb. 16, 2010. Ever since then, we have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. There have been protestations to the contrary, but everyone expected the Rams to release Marc, and save the $8.5 million starting-QB salary they were scheduled to pay him. The official word came around 3:30 p.m. St. Louis time. This news just happened to fall on his 33 birthday. Unless Marc really, really wanted to be released, there is something of a sick organizational joke here.
Now it will cost something in the neighborhood of $45 million over three years to sign young Sam Bradford... if that is what we intend to do. The scuttlebutt holds that young Bradford won't sign a contract before draft day... and that's just for starters. Other less reputable reports, stemming from John Clayton on ESPN, maintain that it will be difficult for the Rams to sign Bradford, period.
Bulger finishes as the Rams' second all-time leading passer behind Jim Everett, a QB he had much in common with, save durability and a temper.
How will the Bulger era be remembered? It started off very well, and then it collapsed on a seemingly endless series of injuries. These were largely a consequence of poor protection. The Rams are the only team to allow 40+ sacks in each of the past nine seasons.
During Bulger's eight years as a starter, the Rams' offensive line permitted 46, 43, 50,46,49,48,45, and 44 sacks respectively. Teams with quality lines permit 20 or fewer sacks per season. In the early years, our sack totals were somewhat understandable, as the Rams threw deep and went after the big play. In the later years, as the Rams transformed into a run-first, short-passing team, these sack totals were inexcusable. It is difficult to chastise a QB who suffers from such poor protection.
The Rams’ Poor protection through the years
The real calamity that befell Marc Bulger-and the Rams-was the firing of Mike Martz and the hiring of Scott Linehan as head coach. The consequences of this act cannot be over-stated. The Rams are at the bottom of the heap now, largely because of this one move. Linehan will forever be known as the man who destroyed the greatest show on turf.
It is commonly thought that Bulger will be signed by another team in search of a quality backup. The San Francisco 49ers are a team frequently mentioned with this connection.