The first part of the equation in Tom Brady’s future contract negotiations came to pass Friday night, with quarterback Sam Bradford agreeing to terms on a contract with the St. Louis Rams.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirmed that the first round pick will receive $78 million over six years, with a contract that could max out at $86 million. According to the newspaper, a total of $50 million is guaranteed, all of which makes it the richest rookie contract ever in NFL history.

In other words, more money than the $72 million deal over six years that Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford signed with the Detroit Lions last season.

I’ll never quite understand how deals like this happen for guys who have yet to prove a thing in this league. So many first round quarterbacks have come and gone (Tim Couch, Akili Smith, David Carr, Ryan Leaf etc.) yet teams continue to open up their wallets to college stars who haven’t really earned it. These types of paychecks more or less work out to be a lifetime achievement award for their college careers, and more often than not the teams they sign with are left holding the bag.

It’s pretty clear that rewarding rookies for what they haven’t done in the league yet doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King chimed in shortly after the news came on Bradford’s deal, saying the whole thing is just ridiculous.

“Don’t blame Bradford, or agent Condon or Dogra, or Rams negotiator Kevin Demoff for top-pick deal,” Tweeted King. “The system is broken. It must be fixed.”

When you really see the numbers on paper, it makes you wonder the logic behind their thinking – not to mention why it continues to happen.

Bradford vs. Brady:

Tom Brady:
Tenure: 10-years in the league
Wins: 111 (Including Playoffs)
Losses: 34 (Including Playoffs)
Super Bowl Titles: 3
Super Bowl MVP’s: 2
Pro Bowl Selections: 5
Undefeated Regular Seasons: 1
Touchdown Record: Yes
Total Career Yards: 30,844
Total Career Touchdowns: 225

Sam Bradford:

Tenure: 0-years in the league
Wins: 0
Losses: 0
Super Bowl Titles: 0
Super Bowl MVP’s: 0
Pro Bowl Appearances: 0
Undefeated Regular Seasons: o
Touchdown Record: 0
Total Career Yards: 0
Total Career Touchdowns: 0

Needless to say other than the first four letters in their last name, these two have very little in common.   It just shows you that the current system is extremely flawed, since all that happened tonight was the bar was re-set for quarterback salaries. As a result the chances are pretty high that this will likely have a ripple effect on the entire league – at least until something is done to stop things like this from continuing to happen.

For Patriots fans the only question will be how big it is, and will it reach as far as Foxboro and play a factor as the team tries to strike a deal to keep Brady in New England.