With franchise quarterback Sam Bradford headed to the injured reserve list for the second straight year, the focus has turned to “other options” in St. Louis. The Rams currently boast perennial backup Shaun Hill, and a 3rd year player in Austin Davis on their depth chart, and rumors have swirled about the possibility that they look elsewhere to improve the position for the upcoming season.
We’ll take a look at some of these candidates, and outline the financial impact to both teams should a deal be made.
Sanchez signed a 1 year $2.25 million contract with the Eagles just six days after he was released by the New York Jets. The deal included a $750,000 signing bonus that would remain on the Eagles 2014 salary cap. His $1.5M base salary would transfer to the Rams, $750,000 of which is fully guaranteed. The deal also contains $1.75M in playing time incentives that were not likely to be earned in Philadelphia, but might be achieved as the starting quarterback in St. Louis. Sanchez would carry a week one cap of $1.5M in St. Louis, leaving a $750,000 cap with the Eagles.
Tom Brady’s backup is entering the final year of his rookie deal in New England and has been amidst trade rumors for the better part of the 2014 offseason. He’s struggled early on in the preseason, but could benefit from a change of scenery and a legitimate chance to win a starting job. Trading him would leave behind a $160,969 in dead hit to the Pats 2014 salary cap, carrying through his non-guaranteed $776,976 base salary to St. Louis.
With Alex Smith’s contract situation still up in the air, Daniel may be sitting in a nice spot as the backup in Kansas City. But with Tyler Bray, and newly drafted Aaron Murray in line behind him – a move to a less clouded depth chart may be in the cards for Daniel, who signed a 3 year $10 million contract in 2013. He would carry cap hits of $2,350,000 in 2014 and $3,800,000 along with him, leaving dead cap of $1,050,000 in 2014, and $1,000,000 in 2015 with the Chiefs. It should be noted that Daniel’s contract has an automatic void after any season in which he throws for 2,000+ yards and 12+ touchdowns.
Ponder has fallen out of grace quickly in Minnesota, now the clear #3 on the depth chart behind Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater. The 2014 season is the final of his rookie contract, currently counting $3,232,313 against the Vikings cap. A trade would leave $1,472,036 with Minnesota, carrying a fully guaranteed $1,760,277 base salary through to the Rams.
It might be a long shot to assume the Cardinals would trade a QB within their division, but Lindley doesn’t appear to have a role in Arizona going forward. Entering year three of his rookie contract, the former 6th round selection from 2012 carries $52,654 in dead cap that would split $26,327 over 2014 and 2015 on the Cardinals’ cap. Lindley would carry over base salaries of $570,000 in 2014, and $660,000 in 2015, neither guaranteed.
Set to enter the seasons as the starting quarterback in Tennessee, it’s long been rumored that he’s simply “not the guy” for the Titans going forward. This would certainly be the most surprising of the noted moves, but it might be the best for both sides, as Tennessee can demand a fairly strong package from St. Louis in this deal. Locker is entering the final year of his rookie contract that currently carries a $4,004,637 cap. His $1,913,364 pro-rated signing bonus would remain with the Titans, while his fully-guaranteed $2,091,273 base salary would follow him to St. Louis.