While most big-name free agents are usually pretty well picked over by this point in the NFL offseason, this year may be an exception as there are still plenty of Pro Bowl caliber players to choose from. For the St Louis Rams, this might mean a late training camp acquisition or two to fill some holes that still haven’t been adequately addressed to this point. Here are a few possibilities to be signed by the club in the waning moments of the offseason.
Braylon Edwards, Plaxico Burress, Terrell Owens
When given the choice between these three individuals, clearly Owens has the most accomplished résumé, but his character and destructive tendencies give any team hesitation. The same could be said about Burress after his stint in prison and Edwards after his DUI issues, but they both found NFL homes at some point in 2011.
Edwards may be the youngest of this trio, but Burress has an immediate effect on opposing defenses forced to gameplan for his mismatch in the red zone. Owens is the savvy, veteran presence that can get open in a pinch and make clutch catches over the middle, but his divisive nature in the locker room rules him out directly. If any of these guys gets a shot with the Rams, one would have to figure that Burress is the odds-on favorite.
The other position of real perceived weakness for the Rams is offensive line and particularly the tackle spot. Sam Bradford was sacked an awful lot in 2011 and given the team’s investment in him, keeping him upright should be a real focus for the 2012 season. McNeill has been injury-prone during his career, but with the San Diego Chargers, he did make a Pro Bowl and played very effectively as a blindside protector when on the field. At least getting him into camp and adding some competition for Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith would be a nice addition to the Rams’ roster.
None of these guys are going to make the Rams instant Super Bowl favorites, but each could offer his own assets to the club in the season ahead. The team would be wise to consider at least one of these players as a late addition to their 2012 roster.
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