Even though the St. Louis Rams experienced more success in 2012 than the franchise has known in more than a half-decade, the building must continue in 2013. There are still several weak areas on the Rams current roster and some questions that need to be answered with impending free agents. Here is a rundown of just what type of transactions you can expect to see from the team over the course of the next few months.
This position is quickly being moved to the top priority for plenty of teams in terms of need in the offseason. The Rams are no exception with no clear-cut starters on their current roster and a significant lack of talent at the position. In free agency, there will be plenty of viable options to improve the club’s secondary with Jarius Byrd (Buffalo Bills), William Moore (Atlanta Falcons), and Dashon Goldson (San Francisco 49ers) leading the way. For St. Louis, those players may be too expensive however. Perhaps some middle-tier names like Kenny Phillips (New York Giants) or Corey Lynch (San Diego Chargers) make more sense.
WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END
Even though the team added Titus Young, he isn’t coming in and fixing all that ails the Rams skill position players. There will be no shortage of options here either with Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City Chiefs), Mike Wallace (Pittsburgh Steelers), Wes Welker (New England Patriots), and Greg Jennings (Green Bay Packers) all set to be on the open market. The trouble here is that the Rams too have a pair of receivers that they would like to keep who are slated for free agency in Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola. They could command a pretty penny on the open market which may make it difficult for St. Louis to keep both.
As for tight end, no one has been blown away by Lance Kendricks and if you look at the Patriots as a model, perhaps a two tight end system would be a smart move for the Rams. When a team lacks superior pass protection (ahem… Rams), tight ends provide quick check-down targets. Versatile names like Jared Cook (Tennessee Titans), Martellus Bennett of the Giants, Fred Davis (Washington Redskins), and Dustin Keller (New York Jets) will all be available. Maybe a tight end addition would counteract the team’s ongoing issues at wideout with a lower price tag.
This is the big question area for the Rams and the answers likely won’t be found in free agency here. Given their budgetary limitations, signing a big name lineman on the open market won’t be possible. Clearly the draft will be heavy with linemen and that is where the Rams need to focus their energies on overhauling quarterback Sam Bradford’s protection.
It’s a lengthy process, but there are a number of potential avenues that the Rams can use to improve in 2013. The team has a terrific nucleus in place, now it is time to simply supplement that current roster with some savvy acquisitions that can push them over the top. If General Manager Les Snead’s first year at the helm is any indication, he is more than up to the task.