Rumors are called rumors for a reason. We can take them with a grain, or maybe two, of salt. Throw in some skepticism, too.
Some of the talk around the blogosphere is that QB prospect Sam Bradford would refuse to sign a pre-draft contract with the Rams in an effort to gain negotiating leverage, or force his way to another team. NFL Network’s Rich Eisen asked Bradford to respond to said rumors Thursday.
“To be honest, I’ve never said that,” Bradford said. “I’ve never been asked that before. I’m not really sure where that’s coming from.
“I’m a player; I’m going to play for whoever drafts me. That’s why there’s a draft. It’s not like the players get to choose where they go. If St. Louis picks me … it’s just going to be a great opportunity. It’s something I’ve dreamed about for a long time. Regardless of who takes me in the draft, I’m going to be more than happy to get to that city and get to work.”
As owners of the No. 1 overall selection, the Rams are the only team that can negotiate pre-draft deals with potential picks, which is common. Over the last four drafts, the only player not to sign beforehand was JaMarcus Russell with the Raiders in 2007. According to a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Rams already have held preliminary negotiations with the agents for Bradford, Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy, Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh and Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen.
But it might all be for naught. The Rams have a private workout scheduled with Bradford on April 19, just three days before the draft, which wouldn’t leave much time for negotiating a contract.