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Thread: Cowboys, Rams among NFC front offices under pressure this offseason

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    Cowboys, Rams among NFC front offices under pressure this offseason

    Posting just the bit on the Rams...

    From Sports Illustrated
    Don Banks, Inside the NFL

    • NFC West -- St. Louis: It can't possibly escape the Rams how pivotal this offseason is in terms of their standing within the NFL's strongest division. Seattle and San Francisco are the NFC's best teams and most recent two conference champions, and even third-place Arizona is on the rise, finishing a strong 10-6 last season under new head coach Bruce Arians. That leaves St. Louis trying desperately to get over the seven-win hump as head coach Jeff Fisher's third season approaches. It's time for the Rams to win, and the backdrop of the franchise's uncertain future in St. Louis (Hello, Los Angeles?) only adds to the prevailing sense of urgency.


    For the Rams, it starts with capitalizing on the draft this year, because St. Louis owns two of the first 13 picks (Nos. 2 and 13) as result of the Robert Griffin III trade bonanza of 2012. The Rams have to use that windfall wisely, perhaps taking two instant starters or dealing downward and out of the No. 2 slot once again for even more pieces of the roster puzzle. GM Les Snead has made it clear he's open to dealing that pick, and there should be teams just below St. Louis who are interested in moving up (No. 4 Cleveland for a quarterback?; No. 6 Atlanta for a pass-rusher like Clowney?).


    If the Rams can move down slightly and still come away with either a receiver like Clemson's Sammy Watkins or an offensive tackle like Auburn's Greg Robinson or Texas A&M's Jake Matthews, they'd win a lot of points with the instant-draft-grade set. If they stick at No. 2, maybe they have to consider taking Clowney themselves, even though defensive end is a strength with Robert Quinn and Chris Long. But by any scenario, the two first-round picks should help the Rams cross off two of their most pressing needs, be it at receiver, offensive tackle, safety or linebacker. All four of those positions have appealing choices in the top half of the first round.


    The biggest issue in St. Louis is cap room, with the Rams believed to be just under the $133 million threshold at the moment, before they do any restructuring or cap-based releases. The priority is the re-signing of offensive tackle Rodger Saffold, who has even more importance given the late-season ACL tear suffered by fellow starting tackle Jake Long. Saffold is expected to have a sizable market for his services, and the team has yet to make progress on retaining him.


    Veterans who might be cut to create some breathing room under the cap include center Scott Wells, guard Harvey Dahl and underachieving free-agent cornerback Cortland Finnegan. If there is a position targeted in free agency, it could be safety, where veterans such as Jarius Byrd, T.J. Ward and Donte Whitner are expected to help populate the market place.
    Obviously the return to health of quarterback Sam Bradford (season-ending ACL surgery in October) is another big lynchpin of the Rams' plans to contend in the NFC West in 2014. But St. Louis has remained committed to him and is not expected to use any of its draft capital on a starting quarterback option.
    It won't be easy for the Rams to step up in weight class in their rugged division, especially since they play both Super Bowl clubs and have eight games against 2013 playoff teams. But they may never have a better chance than 2014 to take the much-needed leap forward.


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    Re: Cowboys, Rams among NFC front offices under pressure this offseason

    No doubt that the extra picks create the opportunity, and pressure, to improve the team.

    However, two of the reasons for the "pressure" offered in the article are downright silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    It's time for the Rams to win, and the backdrop of the franchise's uncertain future in St. Louis (Hello, Los Angeles?) only adds to the prevailing sense of urgency.
    The potential (to whatever extent that there is a potential) of a move has nothing to do with the Rams' approach to this offseason. Whatever city they play in, the Rams will try to win.

    If the Rams can move down slightly and still come away with either a receiver like Clemson's Sammy Watkins or an offensive tackle like Auburn's Greg Robinson or Texas A&M's Jake Matthews, they'd win a lot of points with the instant-draft-grade set.
    Does he really think that Les Snead or Jeff Fisher care what "grades" they get from the media on the Monday after draft weekend? Seriously?
    FestusRam and Sauceman like this.

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    Re: Cowboys, Rams among NFC front offices under pressure this offseason

    Agreed...after reading the post I rolled my eyes for much the same reasons Avenger pointed out. And there is far too much focus on the FIRST ROUND of the draft. Often over looked is the value teams are finding in the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th rounds. And honestly that's where the Rams will either have a good draft or totally miss the boat.

    Issues with Saffold & Long might force the Ram's number 2 pick and pickup Robinson. But as I see it number 13 is looking better and better for trade-bait. Teams will start getting worried as the draft progresses and if they have an eye on a player, might come calling to the Rams to discuss a deal where by the Rams might pick up good value in the later rounds. At this moment its high steaks poker--how well can the Rams bluff?

    Assuming the Rams fix their O-line questions coming into the draft, I wouldn't be surprised if the Rams go WR with their 2nd round pick. That assumes other teams don't get desperate before hand. Its a long way off to the draft yet. But if the Rams are going to make a move, it had better be VERY soon. Too glaringly is the Rams in 2013 lost ground to the Arizona--that is more disturbing then losing ground to seattle/Frisco. The Rams should have been a solid 3rd in the division--that's not the case. Another such showing come end of 2014, and I wouldn't give 10 cents bet that Fisher is still HC walking into 2015

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    Re: Cowboys, Rams among NFC front offices under pressure this offseason

    Saw the article a few days ago and agree with AV's thoughts about what city they play in or post draft grades are irrelevant. I do however think that Jeff and Les aren't going to be playing with "house money" this year. They will need to demonstrate some progress on the program. This is after all a business and the team's ownership will need to see some ROI.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: Cowboys, Rams among NFC front offices under pressure this offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    No doubt that the extra picks create the opportunity, and pressure, to improve the team.

    However, two of the reasons for the "pressure" offered in the article are downright silly.



    The potential (to whatever extent that there is a potential) of a move has nothing to do with the Rams' approach to this offseason. Whatever city they play in, the Rams will try to win.



    Does he really think that Les Snead or Jeff Fisher care what "grades" they get from the media on the Monday after draft weekend? Seriously?
    Thinking the exact same thing as I read this. They gotta write something, I guess. Controversy = Clicks.

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    Re: Cowboys, Rams among NFC front offices under pressure this offseason

    Sometimes it feels like EXPERTs and media personal are pressuring teams to draft according to their perceptions. NFL Network has rolling on the bottom of the TV screen, the "DRAFT" and accordingly the Rams are likely to draft Robinson...etc...etc.... Do they get a cookie if they make a correct guess?

    Its rather pointless information, since the Rams may trade out of 2nd and so and so will trade theirs for whatever. Its a lot noise and drivel about nothing. Now if they want to publish something useful for the fans, post salary cap standings.

    It sounds I am griping about a non-issue and seriously it isn't an issue. But from a fan's point of view the quality of NFL sports news really is at a low level. Mock drafts themselves fall in the same category of pointless at best. Perhaps the NFL does too good a job of internal policing keeping out real news worthy stories out of the public spot light. Personally I'd like to learn more about the poor officiating problems and what's being done about it. In other words things that really affect the game

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    Re: Cowboys, Rams among NFC front offices under pressure this offseason

    pretty silly article..if that's reason they feel pressure,(stay compeptive in their division) then you can make that case for EVRY team in the damn league..

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