The Marc Bulger era in St. Louis ended when the Rams released their former Pro Bowl quarterback Monday after three forgettable seasons. Does Bulger have anything left?
Rams fans wanted more from Bulger. They wanted a vocal leader, not a quiet victim. They wanted to know the losses and frustrations bothered Bulger as much, or more than, they bothered them, and that Bulger wasn't taking it any longer.
Bulger did keep taking it -- the frequent poundings, the abuse from fans, the indignities from coaches (as when Scott Linehan benched him in a last-ditch effort to get something going in 2008). He was finished in St. Louis, but that doesn't make him finished in the NFL.
Bulger's departure can benefit all parties. The Rams can move on with Sam Bradford, their likely first-round choice, and Bulger can get a fresh start.
It's fair to wonder if the losing and injuries have beaten down Bulger past the point of repair. Bulger has gone 5-30 as a starter over the last three seasons. That's horrible, but the Rams are 1-12 in the games Bulger did not start over the same span. He wasn't the problem or the solution. He was simply expendable heading into the 2010 season with an $8.5 million salary.
Bulger needs to sign as a backup, get acclimated to his new team and regain his edge without the pressure of expectations or the burden of past failures. Bulger tossed 59 touchdown passes with 31 interceptions over a three-year period ending with the 2006 season. He was good enough to flourish when the Rams had good players around him. He wasn't good enough to carry the team when his supporting cast deteriorated. But the qualities that once made Bulger effective -- accuracy, a quick release, command of an offense -- can resurface under more favorable circumstances.