Youth Movement Still in Progress for St. Louis Rams into 2013

By Anthony Blake
Quintin Mikell - St. Louis Rams
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being the league’s youngest team in 2012, the St. Louis Rams still had their fair share of veterans on the roster. Some of those experienced players provided the team with much needed leadership and passion in the locker room while others were passed up on the depth chart in favor of more talented young stars in the making. For the franchise this offseason, turning the page from those elder players will be a key step toward improvement in 2013. There are plenty of moves that Rams General Manager Les Snead needs to make if they want to continue their success from this season well into the future.

The safety position is one place to start when looking at roster cuts and both Craig Dahl and Quintin Mikell should find themselves on other teams next year. Benched by midseason in favor of rookie Trumaine Johnson, neither one really has much left to offer to this club. Johnson flashed plenty of potential during his rookie campaign coming up with two interceptions on the year and the team should be comfortable moving forward in the secondary minus both Dahl and Mikell because of it. Considering the enormous cap number that Mikell carries with him, getting that off of the books will give the Rams much more flexibility in free agency and that is always a positive.

Along the offensive line, it’s no secret that the team needs plenty of help in that area. Two players that likely won’t be a part of the solution however are Harvey Dahl and Wayne Hunter who were both in backup roles for the bulk of this season and it seems their days are numbered. Both players present hefty cap hits over the next two years that the Rams could easily get off of the books and lose very little if anything in terms of depth. For a team stocked with draft picks primed to add some young talent in the trenches, that doesn’t bode well for the future of either of these players in St. Louis.

Making roster cuts can be a difficult task at times, but for a Rams team looking to get younger and better, these moves seem relatively clear cut. This team can free up some extra cash to pursue a weapon or two for quarterback Sam Bradford and use their draft choices to replenish a diminished talent pool along the offensive line. The solutions are right in front of this team in black and white, all they have to do is take initiative and 2013 can be even better than the year prior.

Follow Anthony Blake on Twitter @AnthonyMBlake or on Facebook at Anthony Mizarkus Blake

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