Sam Bradford: To leave or not to leave
Enter the NFL Draft and make millions of dollars as a probable high first round pick.
Or return to Norman, where he’d be leading the Sooners on their quest for a return trip to the national championship.
Nine months later, Bradford has another decision to make. Only this one is hardly a win-win.
Enter the draft, as expected, amidst questions about his durability and health.
Or return to OU for what will be a rebuilding season.
Sunday, Bradford underwent an MRI, which showed he re-aggravated his throwing shoulder after being sacked during the first quarter against Texas. Bradford will consult with doctors and his family about whether he’ll need surgery to correct the persistent Grade 3 AC joint sprain that has ruined his junior season.
Said Bradford, “I’m sure my family and our doctors, once they know more, we’ll talk and (surgery) is an option. We’ll see.”
After that, Bradford will have to decide if entering the draft is best for him. If he does declare, it will be curious to see how NFL teams view him.
Just a day after Bradford went down, analysts began speculating.
ESPN draft guru Todd McShay suggested on in a radio interview that Bradford’s stock could fall to the middle of the first round, which could cost him between $10-20 million.
But appearing on CBS’s NFL Today, former NFL general manager Charley Casserly declared he didn’t believe the injury would affect Bradford’s stock at all.
“He was going to be a top-five pick last year,” Casserly said. “I don’t know why it would be in any different this year.”
If he feels dubious about his draft status, Bradford has the option of coming back to school for his final season of eligibility.
But if you thought playing behind this year’s line was hazardous to his health, wait until next season. With by far OU’s best three linemen — Trent Williams, Brian Simmons and Brody Eldridge — all graduating, the offensive line is probably in store for a further regression.
If Bradford comes back and is seriously hurt again, his draft stock will plummet lower and he will begin to solidify a reputation that will be tough to shake: being brittle.
So while his teammates attempt to press on without him, Bradford is left with a decision to make.
Stay or go.
And unlike the one he had in January, this one is far from ideal.
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