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Sam Bradford will miss the entire 2014 season after tearing his ACL in the St. Louis Rams' preseason game against the Cleveland Browns this weekend, according to several reports.
Bradford already had the worst contract in the NFL thanks to being the first pick of the last NFL Draft under the old collective bargaining agreement (CBA). But now that deal looks even worse for the Rams.
Bradford will make $14 million this season, raising his career earnings to $65.1 million by the end of the year.
The Rams will owe Bradford another $13 million after that before he becomes a free agent following the 2015 season.
Now compare that with Cam Newton, the top pick in the very next draft (2011), the first under the new CBA with new rookie contract limits.
His original contract was worth just $22 million over four seasons, or about the same amount Bradford made in his first year in the NFL. The Panthers did recently pick up Newton's fifth-year option for $14.7 million.
Bradford's contract would be more tolerable if he were producing for the Rams. But despite the talent, the results have just not been there.
While a team's record cannot be blamed completely on a quarterback, it is hard to ignore that the Rams are 18-30-1 with Bradford as a starting quarterback in his first four seasons in the NFL.
Beyond the team's record, of the 32 quarterbacks with at least 25 starts since the start of the 2010 season, here are Bradford's ranks in several key statistical categories.
Coincidentally, it was another injury that helped Bradford land his huge contract. Even though his junior season at Oklahoma ended early because of a shoulder injury, Bradford took a risk and entered the 2010 draft knowing the 2011 draft would most likely have new limits on rookie contracts.
So while this is the worst contract in the NFL, it has worked out pretty well for Bradford.
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