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Don't cry over Holt -- he had to go
By Jeff Gordon
STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
There is little room for sentimentality in the hyper-competitive NFL. And there is absolutely no place for nostalgia when a team goes 5-27 over a two-year period.
So the Rams let Torry Holt go Friday with little fanfare. The team sent out a news release with a boilerplate comment attributed to owner Chip Rosenbloom:
ďThe Rams will forever be grateful for the way Torry Holt represented the Rams on the field and in the community. He is an All-Pro in every sense of the word. Over the past 10 seasons Torry has proven himself to be one of the finest wide receivers in league history. This is a difficult decision because Torry has meant so much to the organization. In my mind and for all Rams fans, Torry will always be a Ram and we wish him and his family nothing but the best as they move forward.Ē
Those were nice words, for sure, but they didnít bring warmth to the teamís decision.
Business is business. In this salary-cap era, the league is a cold place.
Holt is no longer one of the top few wide receivers in the game, as he had been for so many years. Last year he caught 64 passes for 796 yards. That made him about the 35th-best receiver in the league.
He seldom showed his old route-running burst. He runs on balky knees these days, a deterioration that requires weekly management.
Torry has been unhappy for a couple of years now. He talked earlier of his interest in finishing his career elsewhere.
He was unwilling to restructure his contract here to make it more cap-friendly. He hasnít exactly been front and center at Rams Park in recent years, setting the pace during the offseason work. Instead, he has seemed detached.
When the team offered Holt around the league to see if there was trade value, he asked to be released.
Add it all up and the decision was obvious: Holt had to go.
The Rams lost one of their final remnants from the glory days. They subtracted a class act, a Hall of Fame candidate who displayed none of the diva qualities normally associated with this position. He never carried on like Ocho Cinco, T.O. or Meshawn Johnson.
But the Rams opted to subtract another of the many well-compensated veterans who didnít play up to the big money last year.
Weíve noted it many times in this corner of cyberspace -Ė the highest-paid Rams have been the biggest disappointments during the 5-27 downturn. One by one, the New Regime is clearing them out.
Orlando Pace and Holt were just the latest to go. Drew Bennett, Corey Chavous, Trent Green, Dante Hall . . . the casualties began mounting soon after the season ended. (Marc Bulger is safe, for now, because his contract makes him almost untouchable for another year.)
ďWe make the decisions one by one as we go along,Ē coach Steve Spagnuolo said earlier this week.
The moves left many holes to be filled, including one at wide receiver. So Billy Devaney, Spagnuolo and the rest of the football staff will keep busy all spring and summer, adding new players through free agency, the NFL Draft and trades.
After 27 losses in 32 games, this football team had to start over. The nucleus of the team must be revamped. New leadership is desperately needed. The Rams must add new blood at every position.
ďBilly and I sit down and talk very day,Ē Spagnuolo said. ďItís ongoing. There is a lot going on, as you can see.
ďItís falling into place. There is a lot more work to be done. Just because itís a certain way today doesnít mean itíll be like that three months from now. Itís an ongoing process. You just keep chewing away at it.Ē
This can be a grim project, but itís work that has to be done.
Re: Don't cry over Holt -- he had to go
The odd part is that Carolina, where he was wanting to go, really does nothave a need for an aged WR, and they are tighton their cap space and there was a deal cooking with the Titans(much closer to his home) and as per reports, he squached the trade by refusing to restructure his contract. Most interesting!!!!!!!
Re: Don't cry over Holt -- he had to go
I missed dante hall being waived. Is that correct, is he officially gone. Not complaining, i just want to know if i should move his cards out of my current rams category in my collection.
ramming speed to all
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