Report: Bradford will not sign pre-draft deal

With the first round of the draft now seven days away and no tangible discussions being held between Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams, it’s pretty apparent nothing is going to get done in the way of a pre-draft deal.

Maybe that is for good reason. Dan Graziano of Fanhouse reports that one isn’t coming, either. He cites a source saying Bradford is “not doing a deal, period, until he is drafted.”

The last two No. 1 picks – Detroit’s Matthew Stafford and Miami’s Jake Long – carved out contracts before their name was called at the podium by Roger Goodell. The commissioner will likely call out Bradford’s name when the Rams open the draft next Thursday night, but Bradford will not have put his name to paper for the club.

Why? The easy answer is that the team and player are probably not close on financial elements. Stafford set a record last year when he pulled down a $72 million, six-year contract that included $41.7 million in guarantees. You know what? That could have been Bradford’s deal. Most expected him to be the top pick in the draft had he entered it. Now, he’s in line for even more.

The other possible holdup? Maybe Bradford doesn’t want to play for the Rams. He was asked if he didn’t want to play for the Washington Redskins because he has American Indian roots. Bradford scoffed at that idea at the scouting combine. Maybe he doesn’t want to play for the Rams because he sees them as a helpless club. Who knows.

The bottom line is Bradford is going to wait to be drafted and then work on a contract. The last team that did that with the No. 1 pick was Oakland. We all know how that turned out with JaMarcus Russell.

Graziano points out that the Rams have real issues at defensive tackle and could use Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy and get either one for less than Bradford. But then who plays quarterback for them? When St. Louis cut loose Marc Bulger, it announced Bradford was the man. Just wait on that contract a while.

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