The St. Louis Rams and fantasy football owners in deep keeper leagues have one thing in common in 2012: They're probably going to give Sam Bradford one more year to show something promising before he's taken off the rolls of Future NFL Stars and converted into a twentysomething caretaker quarterback who's not allowed to throw the ball past Danny Amendola's inside-the-linebackers route.
That's not what the Rams were hoping for when they drafted him back in 2010, but after 26 NFL starts Bradford has yet to show much beyond an ability, in his rookie season, to be a little below average in the Rams' impossibly conservative Pat Shurmur offense. Part of that is his supporting cast's fault, and part of it is the Rams' inability to put together a coherent offensive gameplan for more than a half-season in a row.
But Bradford's running out of chances as the Rams' quarterback of the future—he's rapidly backing into quarterback-of-the-present status. For fantasy football types, though, there's no such thing as quarterback-of-the-present—if he doesn't look like a star of the future right about now, the people who picked him up in their keeper league a year or a year-and-a-half ago are going to cut bait and look for somebody else.
The good news: It took two fitful, unpleasant seasons before Matthew Stafford turned into Matthew Stafford.