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Sunday, April 26, 2009

OU’s Bradford taking huge risk

Sorrentino’s Lightning Round

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Reader poll

Which Big 12 player will have the most successul NFL career?

  • Baylor OT Jason Smith 18% 97 votes
  • Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin 11% 60 votes
  • Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree 46% 251 votes
  • Texas DE/OLB Brian Orakpo 10% 56 votes
  • Kansas State QB Josh Freeman 5% 27 votes
  • Oklahoma State TE Brandon Pettigrew 8% 45 votes

536 total votes.

I’m wondering what was going through Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford’s mind as Matthew Stafford held up a Detroit Lions jersey after being selected No. 1 overall in Saturday’s NFL Draft.

I’m not questioning Bradford’s decision to return to the Sooners for his junior season. Clearly, a fire still burns inside Bradford to get back to the BCS Championship game and I respect him for staying in school.

But it’s a risk.

Consider that Stafford just signed a six-year, $78 million deal with Detroit on Friday night. I’m not Mel Kiper or Todd McShay, but at 6-foot-4 and 218 pounds, Bradford, fresh off a Heisman Trophy campaign and a season in which he led OU to a record-breaking offensive season, would have given Stafford (6-2, 225 pounds) a run for the No. 1 overall pick. If I’m Bradford, I’m thinking, ‘That could have (and probably should have) been me.’

Here’s what’s working in Bradford’s favor, though. Rookie quarterback contracts continue to rise. Before Stafford, Matt Ryan (six years, $72 million), JaMarcus Russell (six years, $68 million), Vince Young (five years, $58 million), Alex Smith (six years, $49.5 million), Eli Manning (seven years, $54 million), Carson Palmer (seven years, $49 million), David Carr (seven years, $46.2 million) and Michael Vick (six years, $62 million) signed monster deals. If Bradford stays healthy, he could be compensated like Stafford.

But it’s a risk.

Comments

Jarod DeLozier 10 years, 9 months ago

I think it's even more of a risk because at some point they're going to stop the madness of the HUGE contracts for unproven talent. Veterans don't like it, causing team dynamics issues. I like the NBA model better where you're first four years are guaranteed at a specific value depending on where you're drafted.

I hope Stafford will use some of that huge contract to do good things in the sinkhole that is currently Detroit's economy...

Eric Sorrentino 10 years, 9 months ago

it's a point to certainly think about. I mean, it's just odd that Stafford will have a larger contract than Tom Brady, for instance, before he even takes a snap at the pro level. If I was a veteran, I wouldn't be pleased either.

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