Rams confident they'll sign Bradford

Updated: July 31, 2010, 1:27 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Rams are optimistic they'll sign No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford soon, perhaps by Thursday, when quarterbacks and rookies are due for their first training camp workout.

Whenever Bradford arrives, he won't be throwing to Terrell Owens. The franchise is thin at wide receiver, but coach Steve Spagnuolo said Tuesday that the team has decided against signing Owens.

"We took everything into play and we came up with a decision, and I really want to talk about the 2010 Rams," Spagnuolo said.

The coach declined to say how serious the Rams were in contract talks with the volatile wide receiver.

"I'm not going to put it in a category," Spagnuolo said. "We sat down, talked about it. We went about it the right way and the decision was made."

Spagnuolo said talks are proceeding with Bradford and he was hopeful a deal would be reached soon. The coach added that Bradford, the former Oklahoma quarterback, has said in the past that he wanted to be in camp on time.

The guaranteed money in Bradford's deal is expected to be between $45 million and $50 million, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter last week.

Last year, the Detroit Lions gave No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford a six-year deal that included $41.7 million in guaranteed money.

In any case, Spagnuolo reiterated that veteran A.J. Feeley will open camp as the starter.

"Just like I stated all last spring, if we played today A.J. would be the guy," Spagnuolo said.

Spagnuolo was more confident second-round pick Rodger Saffold, the other unsigned draft pick, would agree to terms ahead of the rookie drills.

Saffold is likely to start at right tackle after the Rams traded Alex Barron to the Cowboys.

"We're very optimistic it should be done hopefully in the next 24 to 48 hours," Spagnuolo said "So we keep our fingers crossed we get those two guys in and we'll be all set and ready to go."

Spagnuolo didn't seem too stressed about the possibility Bradford might miss the two days of rookie workouts before the first full squad practice on Saturday.

"We wouldn't be able to play the season," he said jokingly. "Of course, every day matters, but however it happens and when he gets in here we'll deal with it."

Running back Steven Jackson might be limited early in camp after undergoing back surgery in April, but would have gotten a light preseason workload in any case.

Offensive lineman Mark Setterstrom is probably out for the season after undergoing triceps surgery last month. Spagnuolo said the recovery time is four to six months and he expected the team to place Setterstrom on injured reserve or the PUP list.

Spagnuolo said the Rams remain interested in Brian Westbrook, and said he's spoken with the running back.

"We have to let that process play itself out," Spagnuolo said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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