With an overhauled front office and coaching staff in St. Louis, it only seems logical that the roster would follow suit and see a similar shakeup. 20 members of the 2011 Rams are set to become free agents on March 13 and the majority of that bunch will likely be wearing different uniforms in 2012.
From that group, certainly wide receiver Brandon Lloyd is the biggest name as he led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns last year with 51, 683, and five respectively. Lloyd only played 11 games with the Rams after coming over in a deal from the Denver Broncos prior to the trade deadline and much of that time was with second and third string quarterbacks. Although his agent has had discussions with the team about a contract, it appears he will hit the market and possibly reunite with former Rams’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and the New England Patriots.
Danny Amendola will not hit the open market, but he will be available should any team wish to part with a second round pick. The Rams’ return man and wideout was given a restricted tender worth $1.8 million since he has three years of service but an expiring contract. The team has not decided whether or not to use a similar option on defensive end C.J. Ah You yet as the Monday deadline looms.
Offensive guard Jacob Bell, linebacker Chris Chamberlain, and punter Donnie Jones are also set to hit the market. Bell has ties to Head Coach Jeff Fisher from his days with the Tennessee Titans so there is a chance he will be offered a deal to stay with the club. Chamberlain is someone the team wants to re-sign as he comes off of his best year as a pro with 82 tackles and two sacks. Jones saw a decline in 2011 as the team’s punter after four great years to start his career. He will likely be kicking elsewhere next year as the Rams turn the page on that era of special teams.
General Manager Les Snead has his work cut out for him over the next two months, but the organization is excited about the overall direction of the team. This could be a rebuilding process worth taking notice of as the Rams have nowhere to go but up in 2012.