By Steve Kelly
You’ve got to hand it to Los Angeles Rams’ general manager Les Snead, who has admitted the Sam Bardford-for-Nick Foles with the Eagles was doomed from the start!
The Rams their quarterback riddle since early in the 2015 offseason, when Snead insisted that “deleting” Bradford was not the answer.
Less than a month later, Bradford was summarily shipped to Philly along with a fifth-round draft pick in exchange for Nick Foles, a 2015 fourth-round pick and a 2016 second-round pick.
Appearing on FOX Sports’ The Peter Schrager Podcast last week, Snead insisted that he had no intentions of dealing Bradford until teams starting calling to gauge his quarterback’s availability. The Rams’ preference at the time was to reduce Bradford’s salary after back-to-back ACL surgeries, with the opportunity to earn money back via playing time bonuses.
“And initially you’re like ‘Hey, we haven’t really thought of (trading Bradford),'” Snead said. “Who’s the answer after him? We’re really looking to try to get something done contractually. Those few teams kept calling and calling, now we’re talking about it internally. Eventually, we made the move. You very rarely see starting quarterbacks swapped. One of the reasons for us was it helped us from a financial standpoint.”
As it turns out, the 2016 second-round pick acquired from the Eagles carried more value than Foles. Snead revealed to Schrager that the team’s brass was not convinced Foles was the answer.
“We also knew grabbing that extra second-round pick, whoever our quarterback was going to be last year might not work out, so it would be time to start looking again,” Snead explained. “We knew by getting that extra second-round pick it would give us the ability to maneuver more in the next draft.”
The Rams went on to sign Foles to a two-year extension last summer, but protected themselves by allocating the bulk of the financial commitment to the 2016 season. By the middle of November, the former Pro Bowl MVP had lost his job to Case Keenum. By the time the offseason kicked off, Foles was persona non grata in Los Angeles.
Realizing there was no chance of competing against the stacked Cardinals and Seahawks without a viable quarterback, the Ramssent a treasure chest of picks to the Titans for the draft’s top spot.
If not for the second-round pick originally acquired in the Bradford-Foles trade, Snead might not have pulled off the blockbuster trade for Cal star Jared Goff.
“I do think having the two twos in this draft was very beneficial,” Snead added. “… I think that was definitely a core part of it, a big part of the foundation of that trade.”