Rams rookie Bradford signs record deal

Sam Bradford speaks at a news conference after being chosen by the St. Louis Rams as the first...

Sam Bradford speaks at a news conference after being chosen by the St. Louis Rams as the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft in New York on April 22, 2010. (JESSICA RINALDI/Reuters)

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, Last Updated: 10:51 PM ET

EARTH CITY, MO - St. Louis Rams quarterback and 2010 top overall draft choice Sam Bradford has reportedly agreed to a six-year deal that is worth a record $50 million in guarantees.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bradford’s deal is worth a total of $78 million. The guaranteed money is the most ever for a single contract in league history — for rookies or veterans.

Bradford, 23, will be counted upon to help a Rams franchise that went a league-worst 1-15 last season. He had been the Oklahoma Sooners’ starting quarterback for the last three seasons, despite playing in only three games in 2009 due to an injury to his throwing shoulder.

The 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, Bradford helped lead Oklahoma to the National Championship Game that season before falling to Florida. That season, Bradford threw for 4,720 yards and 50 touchdowns, helping the school break an NCAA record for most points in a 14-game season with 716.

The Rams continued a popular trend of teams selecting a quarterback with the first overall pick. Dating back to the Colts’ selection of Peyton Manning leading off the 1998 NFL Draft, quarterbacks have been picked first overall in 10 of 13 drafts. St. Louis last picked first overall in 1997 and took Ohio State offensive tackle Orlando Pace.

The Rams have struggled mightily since “The Greatest Show on Turf,” led by quarterback Kurt Warner and running back Marshall Faulk, produced two Super Bowl appearances, one title, three MVP winners and three straight top-ranked offensive teams from 1999-2001. St. Louis has posted one winning season in the last eight years and has won a total of six games in the last three campaigns — the fewest in the NFL in that timeframe.

The club’s quarterback for the last eight seasons, Marc Bulger, was released earlier in the offseason, so Bradford figures to be in the mix for the starting position as a rookie. The other three signal-callers currently on the roster are veteran A.J. Feeley, Keith Null and Thaddeus Lewis.


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