The signing of defensive end Vernon Gholston by the St. Louis Rams is one that makes a lot of sense on many different levels. The Rams feel that they have two top notch ends in Chris Long and Robert Quinn at this point, but depth is still a question mark for the team at the position. Gholston never lived up to the billing as a top ten draft choice in 2008, but his potential is undeniable. This signing is a win-win proposition for the Rams who are just looking to get deeper in many areas of their depleted roster this offseason.
During his time with the New York Jets, Gholston was used in a variety of different positions from an in-line defensive end with his hand in the dirt to a stand-up outside linebacker primarily used to rush the passer. That is the main reason he was cut by the club prior to the 2011 season is that he has yet to accumulate a single sack in his three-year career. Gholston spent all of last year out of football.
It’s not like the Rams didn’t have other options on the street at the defensive end spot as they also worked out former San Francisco 49ers and more recently New England Patriots pass rusher Andre Carter. He had a tremendous 2011 with 11 sacks and made it to the Pro Bowl, but at 33 years of age coming off of a torn quadriceps, the idea of signing him just comes with too much uncertainty.
It isn’t like the Gholston signing is a sure thing, but the Rams must at least have some insight into his potential use as a player from their new Jet connections in offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and assistant Andy Dickerson. If motivation is the main issue with this former sixth overall pick, Head Coach Jeff Fisher has to feel he can get the most out of him. Vernon Gholston may end up flaming out and not even making the final roster cut, but this signing is a can’t lose situation for the Rams.
Follow Anthony Blake on Twitter @AnthonyMBlake or on Facebook at Anthony Mizarkus Blake