Rob Ryan might be considered a big splash in the coaching market, but the real area where the St. Louis Rams need to make some waves this offseason is in free agency. The team may have taken a significant step forward under Head Coach Jeff Fisher’s first year of direction in 2012, but there is still some significant ground to make up if they want to be seriously competitive in 2013. Here are three areas that really need an upgrade and some suggestions to make those improvements via free agency.
Clearly Danny Amendola takes precedence over anyone else, as he is a free agent this offseason, but after the team comes to terms on an extension with him there are plenty of options to add to a somewhat suspect passing attack. Perhaps the best name to look at is already relatively close to the city of St. Louis in Kansas City Chiefs wideout Dwayne Bowe. His ability to stretch the field and use his large frame to box out defensive backs and make the tough catch is something that the Rams have been missing. Adding Bowe would open up the underneath routes for Amendola and consequently improve life for quarterback Sam Bradford, as well.
Speaking of making Bradford more comfortable, the offensive front needs some serious TLC in order to fully achieve that. The Rams struggled with injuries this past year, but there’s no doubt they need an overhaul. Fortunately, there will be plenty of available players on the open market this offseason who are immediate upgrades to what the team currently has. One player in particular that should get the Rams attention is Buffalo Bills guard Andy Levitre who is an unheralded player that just gets the job done. Signing him wouldn’t break the bank like some other big fish on the free agent market could, but it would still greatly improve the protection that Bradford has in the pocket.
While the defensive side of the ball was greatly improved this year, the Rams still need to add a top flight safety. There are several options here as well with William Moore of the Atlanta Falcons, Dashon Goldson of the San Francisco 49ers, and Louis Delmas for the Detroit Lions at the top of the list. These guys won’t come cheap, but they won’t significantly impair the Rams as far as the salary cap is concerned, either. Cortland Finnegan was added in free agency last year along with Janoris Jenkins in the NFL Draft to sure up the cornerback position, but the safety spot still needs addressed. Adding one of these three guys will make the Rams secondary a force to be reckoned with in 2013.
Expect more significant attempts to improve this roster during the offseason from General Manager Les Snead. These players are just some suggestions worth looking at as the team retools for next season.
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