Speculation is running rampant as to which free agents every team across the league may be honing in on as March 12 grows ever nearer. For the St. Louis Rams, the team would like to make a big splash in the free agency pool this offseason, but cap shackles placed on the franchise from years of ineptitude in the old CBA will prevent that from becoming a reality. Never fear, General Manager Les Snead is here with a strategy to help the club improve without breaking the bank this offseason. Here are some middle-tier free agents that the Rams should focus on.
Clearly the big name here will be Jake Long and as much as the team may long (pun intended) for him to man the left tackle position, it just isn’t feasible. Two names that could be a nice consolation prizes however are Sebastian Vollmer of the New England Patriots or Jermon Bushrod of the New Orleans Saints. Both are 28 years old in the prime of their respective careers and have protected Tom Brady and Drew Brees, two of the most successful quarterbacks in the NFL over the past handful of seasons. There guys may not be the biggest fish in the pond, but either one would still be quite a catch.
With Steven Jackson not satisfied with the diminished role he was offered, the club has to turn the page on his chapter with the franchise. Two backs who have loads of talent but plenty to prove after some suspect seasons are Ahmad Bradshaw of the New York Giants and Rashard Mendenhall of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Each will likely come at a discount giving their recent issues with injuries and could provide the Rams with a great change-up to both Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead in the backfield.
This is a position most have the Rams targeting in the NFL Draft, but if they could somehow fill it in free agency it would really free up their draft options. Two players on the market have connections to the team’s new defensive coordinator Tim Walton in Detroit Lions’ Louis Delmas and Kenny Phillips of the New York Giants. Obviously Delmas played under Walton for the past few seasons whereas Phillips’ connection goes back to his collegiate days at Miami (FL). Either one could be a bit discounted compared to the top of the line free agents and would fill a gaping hole in the Rams’ depth chart.
Plenty of teams will be rushing to land the biggest fish in the pond on March 12, but the Rams must exercise patience and find an option or two that slips through the cracks. These are just some of the names to keep an eye on as GM Snead prepares to begin retooling this Rams roster in just a few days.