Free agency may seem like it is winding down for many teams, but it certainly feels like it is just getting started for the St. Louis Rams. The team did make one big splash on day one with the addition of tight end Jared Cook, but they still have plenty of lures in the water to catch some sizable fish in the coming days. This shopping spree from General Manager Les Snead has been somewhat unexpected, but it’s been incredibly entertaining to say the least.
Let’s begin with the Jake Long saga. It’s been a lengthy feeling out process for Long and the Rams, but all signs point to a deal getting done sooner rather than later. Head Coach Jeff Fisher has even gotten in on the act, saying that current left tackle Rodger Saffold is “fine” with the idea of moving to the right side should Long be signed. This definitely bodes well for team chemistry which only adds extra incentive to the idea of getting a deal done quickly.
The primary sticking point in negotiations with Long was clearly how he checked out medically and after a near seven-hour physical (seriously, what can you check for SEVEN HOURS!?), team doctors felt okay about Long’s condition. Now the two sides are hammering out a contract as Long already feels like a fixture in the city spending his third day there on Friday.
What came as a pleasant surprise from coach Fisher’s discussion on the Long situation was that the Rams have their eyes on another free agent as well at the moment. Most figured that the team would be in the running for safety Louis Delmas with the team’s obvious need and the connection to new defensive coordinator Tim Walton with the Detroit Lions, but nothing had been reported until now.
If the Rams can add both of these pieces to their roster, there may be a lot of trading down going on in the upcoming NFL Draft. The team made several roster moves to free up some salary cap space, but no one could have foreseen quite the flurry of activity that has been brewing in St. Louis. Clearly the front office and the coaching staff believes that just a few small additions will turn this team into a playoff contender and they are certainly doing their best to make that a reality.
GM Snead may not have made much noise last year at this time, but the Rams are into phase two of their rebuilding process at this point. The team has taken shape and now it’s all about finding a few missing ingredients and adding them to a roster with loads of potential. This may not be the Rams of the late 1990s and early 2000s yet, but the excitement level is certainly rising at a rapid pace and rightfully so.