It's official: St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has torn his ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2014 season. Bradford left the Rams' preseason game early against the Browns on Saturday night.
Season-ending injuries are always tough on teams, but none more so when it comes to a position as important as quarterback.
With Bradford out, long-time NFL veteran Shaun Hill could be poised to start for St. Louis. Hill, 34, isn't the worst backup quarterback option. In 26 career starts he's posted a 13-13 record with a 41 to 23 touchdown-interception ratio and a 85.9 passer rating. Still, the Rams could look to upgrade.
This where the Philadelphia Eagles could possibly come in. A number of national reporters have already suggested the possibility of a Philadelphia-St. Louis quarterback trade.
If there's one trade target makes sense for the Rams, if Bradford is out for any period of time, I'd say it'd be Eagles QB Mark Sanchez.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 24, 2014
Sanchez, who was signed as a free agent by the Eagles in the offseason, was recently brought up in trade talks last week. What I mean by this is a reporter asked Chip Kelly if the Eagles had given thought to trading Sanchez, Kelly replied with "we'll listen to anything for anybody", and somehow that turned into "Eagles open to trade offers for Sanchez."
Sanchez would seem to make sense for the Rams. He's been great for the Eagles in preseason: 25/31 (80.6%), 281 yards (9.1 Y/A), 2 TD, 1 INT, 112.5 rating. Sanchez would be reunited with former New York Jets and current Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. St. Louis head coach Jeff Fisher even admitted the Rams had interest in signing Sanchez this offseason.
The Eagles wouldn't just give Sanchez away, however. He's looked good and he has value to Philadelphia as a capable backup. Chip Kelly spoke on Sanchez's trade value last week.
" What are you giving me? I mean, we'll listen to anything for anybody. We're not going to bury our head in the sand and say no. But it better be a pretty good deal in terms of what it is. But that's not any of our thought process. We need him. In terms of how he's playing right now, how he can function in what we're doing, and I've always said you need to have two quarterbacks."
I don't think Sanchez gets moved. The Rams would have to make an attractive offer to the Eagles. St. Louis might be better off holding onto those assets and stocking up on another year of high draft picks instead of fighting just to keep their heads barely above water in the highly competitive NFC West. Also keep in mind Sanchez is only signed to a one-year and will be a free agent in the offseason. The Rams would risk losing him.
I also don't think the Eagles want Matt Barkley as their second string quarterback just yet.
Speaking of Barkley, perhaps the Rams would target him instead of Sanchez.
Barkley is less proven than Sanchez and has had just an OK summer: 20/32 (62.5%), 242 yards (7.6 average), 2 TD, 2 INT, 80.5 rating. Barkley wouldn't give St. Louis a viable starting option but he could be a potential low-cost backup that the Rams could gamble on.
Chance a deal happens?
I wouldn't rule it out completely, but I wouldn't say the chances are high. I would say it's more realistic that Barkley gets dealt than Sanchez but I'm not sure why the Rams would really want Barkley. For now, it's something to keep an eye on.