The St. Louis Rams and Sam Bradford can’t catch a break. For the second straight year, Bradford has torn his ACL. Last season it came in Week 7, and this year it came in the preseason. The Rams were expected to compete for a playoff spot this season, but those hopes are in limbo as they will be forced to go 16 games without their starting quarterback. Two straight ACL surgeries on the same leg are going to make it tough for him to return and become an impact quarterback. With Bradford done for the year, who should the Rams look to to become their starting QB?
1. Mark Sanchez
The Rams should be on the phone with the Eagles as we speak. Mark Sanchez has looked good so far in preseason. Leaving New York seems to have been exactly what Sanchez needed. The problem is that behind Sanchez is Matt Barkley, who has looked awful early in his NFL career. The Rams will likely have to overpay to acquire Sanchez from the Eagles, which could mean a first or second round draft pick. The 27-year-old who led the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championships in his first two seasons worked with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer in New York, meaning a move to St. Louis should be seamless. The question remains if the Rams are willing to overpay.
2. Shaun Hill
As of now, Shaun Hill is slated to be the Rams starting quarterback in Week 1 when they take on the Vikings at home. Hill has been a backup QB throughout his career. The 34-year-old had his biggest season in 2010 when he played in 11 games, throwing for 2,686 yards with 16 TDs and 12 INTs. Hill can throw the deep ball, but can the veteran last over the course of an entire season? He’s never done it before, nor has he been given much of a chance. His career numbers are not bad, and he knows the offense well. The Rams very well could stick with their in-house option in Hill. Backing up Hill is Austin Davis, meaning that the Rams at least have to go out and get another backup.
3. Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins is still on the Redskins roster, despite plenty of talk that he could get traded this offseason. Cousins put up decent numbers taking over for the injured Robert Griffin III, but the Redskins have put a higher value on the 26-year-old than most teams are willing to pay. Cousins is still young, and could become a starting quarterback in the league, but it’s hard to say that he’s worth a high draft pick. There’s no doubt that Cousins can get the ball down the field, but with RG3’s injury woes, the Redskins need a suitable backup QB. Cousins is definitely an option for St. Louis, but he may not be much better than Hill.
4. Matt Moore
Matt Moore has experience as a starting QB in the NFL, and he was pretty good in 2011. It doesn’t seem like he’s going to get a chance in Miami any time soon, barring injury. Ryan Tannehill is the QB of the future for the Dolphins, meaning Moore should be available and he shouldn’t cost the Rams too much. Again, the question will remain if they believe that Moore is an upgrade over Hill at this time. Moore would have to come in and learn the offense, and there’s not much time to do it. Moore likely is going nowhere, but if the Rams wanted him, the price would probably be a fourth or fifth round pick.
5. Chase Daniel
While Chase Daniel might be less experienced than the guys on this list, he can definitely chuck the ball down the field. The Missouri product has talent, despite being a career backup. He looked good when starting Week 17 against the Chargers last season. He’s been behind Drew Brees and Alex Smith on the depth chart his entire career. Daniel would not cost the Rams much, but it’s hard to see them making a move to go after him. It’s another situation where they probably don’t see Daniel as an upgrade to Hill.