For several months, St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was mum on when he would be able to return from an ACL tear that ended his 2013 season back in October. On Thursday, however, he remarked that he expects to be available for the start of training camp in late July, according to the St. Louis Post-Distpatch.
It has been over eight weeks since Bradford underwent knee surgery, and he said his rehab is going well enough to elicit optimism heading into next season.
"Barring any major setbacks, I feel very confident for camp. From everything that [Rams head athletic trainer Reggie Scott]'s told me, he feels like that's an attainable goal. He feels really good with where we're at right now, and the progress that we've made in these first eight weeks. I think as long as we continue on this track, I'm confident that will be a reasonable thing."
Bradford went down in on Oct. 20 during a Week 7 loss to the Carolina Panthers. With the rest of the team enjoying a brief respite from football, Bradford has remained in St. Louis to rehab five days a week at the Rams' facilities.
Rams general manager Les Snead told ESPN last week that his team remains committed to Bradford as their franchise quarterback, tampering speculation that St. Louis would release the former No. 1 overall pick in order to get out from under his crippling salary.
Bradford, who signed a six-year, $76 million rookie contract in 2010, accounts for $17.6 million of the team's $125.7 million salary cap number for next season, according to OvertheCap.com. With the 2014 cap projected at $126.3 million, St. Louis will have to make drastic cuts if it hopes to free up space for free agents and rookie contracts. They could save over $10.4 million by cutting Bradford.
While Bradford showed improvement before going down in 2013, his production has hardly been worth his exorbitant contract. He has completed a mediocre 58.6 percent of his NFL passes and holds a career quarterback rating of 79.3.
Further bolstering the Bradford release theory is the fact that they own the Redskins' No. 2 pick in the upcoming draft thanks to the 2011 trade that granted Washington the rights to Robert Griffin III. Potentially, the Rams could release Bradford and use the pick to select his replacement, who would be forced to sign a much more affordable rookie contract under the new collective bargaining agreement.
Instead, it seems the Rams could be open to trading the No. 2 pick, though Snead stopped short of telling ESPN it was officially on the market.