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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    If the Rams are going to make a significant step towards improving their team enough to contend next year, a somewhat drastic step may be in order.

    My suggestion: trade Leonard Little.

    Of course, this is contingent upon his acquittal in March on his most recent DUI charges (or, at least, a disposition that does not prevent him from playing next year).

    Here are my reasons:

    1. I believe Bryce Fisher (who, for the purposes of this, I'm assuming will be re-signed) and Tony Hargrove can be a very good tandem at the starting positions, backed up by Toyoka Jackson and a rookie (3rd round, perhaps).

    2. Trading Little would free up some needed cap room to go after some of the top FAs, particularly Edgerton Hartwell and Kendrell Bell.

    3. Little (unencumbered by legal troubles) would probably fetch a 2nd round pick, or maybe even a late first rounder (after all, the guy has averaged 11.5 sacks/year over the past 4 seasons).

    4. As good as Little is, I think we saw this year that he can be stopped (he had only 7 sacks this year) if keyed on by the opposition.


  2. #2
    tanus is offline Registered User
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    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    Without Little, Fisher would not have had the season that he did.

  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    Don't get me wrong, I do think that, right now, Little is the Rams' best DE.


    However, if trading Little, and accepting the slight downgrade to Fisher/Hargrove (with the hope the Hargrove will continue to develop) would give the Rams enough cap room to really improve the LBs and a high draft choice to use to improve the O line or the DBs, that would be a good trade-off in my opinion.

  4. #4
    tanus is offline Registered User
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    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    Do you happen to know Little's cap number for the upcoming season? I believe he signed a 5 year 17 million dollar deal a couple of years ago. Let's play it safe and say his cap number is 5 million due to increasing base salaries. I think for what Little brings to the table (i.e. requiring double teams), that he is a bargain for 5 million.

    Instead of trading the team's best defensive player. How about we restructure the deals of Bruce and Faulk? Bruce's restructured contract alone should allow us to make a big offer to Hartwell I believe.

  5. #5
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    Those things are not mutually exclusive. I think Bruce and Faulk should be restructured.

  6. #6
    tanus is offline Registered User
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    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    So you think even with the money we save by restructuring Faulk and Bruce we would still need more cap room to sign Hartwell? I don't agree.

    Maybe I am misunderstanding something here.

  7. #7
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    Why not try to sign more than one FA. I sure wouldn't mind seeing a LB corps of Hartwell, K.Bell and Pisa next year. Heck, if enough room is cleared, maybe we could sign Marco Rivera too.

  8. #8
    tanus is offline Registered User
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    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    His base salary for 2005 is $2.9 million according to nflpa.org. So that is the maximum amount of cap space we would clear. Now, we would also have 2/5ths of his signing bonus prorated if we traded him. If his signing bonus was $5 million, that would result in a net savings of only $900k. Not really worth it in my opinion especially since any impact FA is easily going to have over a $1 million cap number.

    Edit: Sorry, I messed up my math. Assuming his signing bonus was for $5, his cap number would be $3.9 million this year ($2.9 base salary plus $1 million for prorated signing bonus), take out the $2 million for accelerated signing bonus and we would save $1.9 million, not $900k. Still, not really much saved considering how good Little is as a DE.
    Last edited by tanus; -01-25-2005 at 03:54 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    Well, seeing how the league could possibly have seen NO ONE holding Little ALL YEAR may be a factor as to his drop off in production.

    Could you believe that? Not one holding call went to an O lineman against Little all year. That's an amazing stat.

  10. #10
    theodus69 Guest

    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    I feel the Rams need to make a blockbuster deal to even think about contending. Little is just another player, they come and go. To restructure Faulk&bruce, and deal little ,we could possibly take care of a ton a issues at once..............sounds good to me! :tough:

  11. #11
    tanus is offline Registered User
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    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    theodus69, why would you want to get rid of our best defensive player for only $1.9 million in cap savings?

    I'd agree to either restructure or get rid of him if we would save something like $8-10, but come on, $1.9 million won't get you a player of Little's caliber back.

  12. #12
    sbramfan Guest

    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    How about playing Little at LB?

    He only moved to DE as a trial back in the day, and only on 3rd downs...

    His size is exactly what we need at LB (I'm picturing the strong side), and draft/trade for a Middle LB.

    Plus, he would be available to play defensive end in a pinch, and could blitz from his LB spot like Kevin Greene used to do.

    And just to throw in my 2 cents again: I think the Rams could benefit from a 3-4, cover 2.

  13. #13
    theodus69 Guest

    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    hey Tanus, I'm not real sure all the cap room works but if we can restructure little's deal that would be fine also! He is great and at that price it makes me understand a little more than before.Can his be restructured?I imagine so.

  14. #14
    Tailgage-Mayor Guest

    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    If I remember correctly, Little was moved to DE because he was to dumb to play linebacker. Couldn't fingure our the reads. At least that was the rumor, not sure if it was ever documented in the press.

    Although I'm not sure I agree with trading Little, I do see the logic. We have 3 acceptable DEs, while we only have 1 acceptable LB

    Just my 2 cents.

  15. #15
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: If Little is Acquitted, Rams Should Trade Him

    Its not merely $1.9 Million in cap savings. You have to look at the long-term impact. By losing Little's contract, the Rams could offer a contract to a free agent that counts $1.9 Million against the 2005 cap and has a higher impact in the years that follow.

    As for moving Little to LB, he's a very good straight ahead player, but was never very good playing in space.

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