Unfortunately the old saying of where there’s smoke, there’s fire didn’t apply to linebacker Daryl Smith’s visit to the St. Louis Rams. The former Jacksonville Jaguars tackling machine left the Rams’ facilities without a contract which is a definite surprise considering the optimism the situation seemed to have from the start. What’s next for the Rams as they attempt to address their obvious need at the linebacker position?
While the NFL Draft is always an option, it doesn’t seem like the best investment of a first round pick for a team that was so anemic on offense a year ago. First round linebacker prospect Alec Ogletree has been in for a visit with the team, but it remains to be seen just how much that means on April 25th.
That is what makes this development that much more surprising as Smith is a terrific coverage backer with great range and athleticism. Granted, he is now 31 years old and had his first injury-plagued year in 2012 which suggests he may not be as quick as he used to be, but he would fit in so well with the current linebackers on the roster. The fact that the Rams have just two productive linebackers in James Laurinaitis and Jo-Lonn Dunbar on the current roster also makes this a logical fit.
There is still some reason to hold out hope however as St. Louis Today reports that Smith could take other visits prior to reaching his final decision. It is quite possible that the Rams made him an offer that is somewhat low considering the injury risk, and the linebacker doesn’t want to rush into signing a deal that won’t get him fair market value. Given the Rams’ precarious salary cap position at this point in time, they much pinch every penny possible to make the bottom line work heading into the upcoming draft.
It only seems logical that both Head Coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager Les Snead would want to add a capable veteran like Smith into the mix at a reasonable price. Don’t be surprised if this smoke that appears to have no flame at the moment continues to smolder and the Rams get a deal done with Smith sometime in the future.