Rams Reach Out To 44-Year-Old Brett Favre
Last week the St. Louis Rams suffered an unfortunate blow to their season when quarterback Sam Bradford went down with a season-ending knee injury. It couldn’t have come at a worse time for the team or for Bradford, who has yet to make a solid case that he is their longterm future at the position.
Bradford’s contract, which runs through 2015, pays him an average of $17 million over the next two seasons. As a member of the last draft class not to be impacted by the rookie wage scale, he is paid substantially more than quarterbacks drafted from 2011 on.
For example, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was drafted No. 1 overall a year after the Rams injured starter. The team ultimately signed him to a four-year contract worth $22 million. Compare that to Bradford’s six-year deal worth $78 million, $50 of which was guaranteed.
An injury to a starting quarterback is almost always going to send a team reeling, but even so, the Rams’ very curious decision to reach out to Brett Favre does not reflect well on the current situation in St. Louis. Favre, who turned 44 earlier this month, hasn’t played a game since December 2010.
And it doesn’t look like he’ll ever play again. In an interview with Sports Talk 570 in Washington on Thursday, Favre flat out dashed the hopes of anyone still clamoring for yet another ill-conceived comeback.
Said Favre, “It’s flattering, but you know there’s no way I’m going to do that. … I had a great career. I think if anything, the last year that I played was an obvious writing-on-the-wall vision for you, if you will. … It was time.” Adding that his family had taken a backseat to his career long enough.
Thankfully he’s finally reached the place in thinking about his career that most of us reached years ago. Favre has settled into retirement and is seeing things clearly, allowing him to help save the Rams from themselves.
Currently at 3-4, St. Louis is tied for last place with the Arizona Cardinals, two games back on the San Francisco 49ers and three games back on the first place Seattle Seahawks. This is not a team even seriously competing for a playoff spot at this point, let alone a Super Bowl.
What about that situation did they think would make a compelling case to lure Favre out of retirement? And what about that situation did they think would be improved by adding Favre to the roster at this point in the season?
This Rams team isn’t on the verge of something great. Their best record in the last decade was 8-8, a high mark they reached in 2004 and 2006. A short-term solution like signing Favre is the exact opposite of what they should be doing, which is identifying and cultivating young talent.
Whether or not to keep Bradford is a massive decision looming on the horizon in St. Louis. It’s a decision that will be made particularly difficult, given the talented class of quarterbacks that are expected to be available in the 2014 NFL Draft.
This is no time to bring the circus to town.