Rams' Ndamukong Suh has put a target on Cardinals' Sam Bradford
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Ndamukong Suh loves to hit quarterbacks.
Especially quarterbacks named Sam Bradford.
It’s really nothing Bradford did. But still, the Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle told the “Around the NFL” podcast during training camp that he always marks the calendar for matchups against the Arizona Cardinals quarterback.
“He definitely has a little bit bigger target on his back,” Suh said Wednesday, as the Rams prepare to play the Cardinals on Sunday in an NFC West matchup at the Coliseum.
It all goes back to 2010, when the St. Louis Rams selected Bradford out of Oklahoma with the top overall pick in the NFL draft.
Suh, who starred at Nebraska, went second to the Detroit Lions.
That is something Suh, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro (who also has been fined nearly $300,000 for overly aggressive play throughout his career), never will forget.
And he won’t let Bradford, who has faced a never-ending battle with injuries, forget it, either.
“Great. I get it,” Bradford said. “I think everyone wants to hit me. I think that’s kind of how it goes. So, I don’t really think too much more about it than any other week.”
Suh and Braford have met only three times in eight seasons. Suh has sacked him twice.
Their careers have gone in vastly different directions since 2010, when they were named the NFL’s offensive and defensive rookies of the year, respectively.
Bradford played five seasons for the Rams, but was sidelined for a significant amount of time, including the entire 2014 season, because of ankle and knee injuries. The Rams traded Bradford to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, but he was again plagued by injuries and was traded to the Minnesota Vikings where, you guessed it, he was injured again.
The Cardinals signed Bradford this offseason to a one-year deal worth $20 million.
As for Suh, he played five seasons for the Lions before signing a record-breaking six-year, $114 million contract with the Miami Dolphins, making him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
Suh played three seasons in Miami before the Dolphins released him.
He then opted to sign a one-year, $14 million free-agent contract with the Rams this offseason. But not without first reminding team executives that they passed on him eight years ago.
“It was all in fun,” Suh said. “But it’s over and done with. Sam went first and I went second. It’s something we all have to live with.”
But come Sunday, Bradford could be feeling the effects again.