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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    It's thinking-cap time for Rams

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Wednesday, Mar. 08 2006

    Let the spending begin. Now that the NFL owners and the NFL Players Association
    have reached agreement on a labor extension, the Rams' roster-shaping hits full
    stride.

    What does the future hold for wide receiver Isaac Bruce, defensive tackle Ryan
    Pickett and strong safety Adam Archuleta? How will the Rams plug their
    now-gaping holes at middle linebacker and strongside linebacker?

    There appears to be substantial interest around the league in Bruce. According
    to league sources, Carolina and Tampa Bay have expressed interest in Bruce,
    joining Detroit, Houston and Washington.

    The Panthers have been looking for a pass-catching complement to Steve Smith
    since the departure of Muhsin Muhammad to Chicago a year ago. The same can be
    said for Tampa Bay and Joey Galloway. No Buccaneers receiver other than
    Galloway caught more than 41 passes for more than 367 yards last season.

    Tampa Bay, Carolina and Washington had salary-cap issues to sort through before
    the extension of the collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday. Detroit and
    Houston were snug enough against the cap that they probably would have had to
    juggle money around to make a run at Bruce. Money no longer should be a problem
    for those clubs; the extension pushed the cap above $100 million from the
    previous $94.5 million.

    Rams president of football operations Jay Zygmunt spoke with Bruce's agent
    Jimmy Sexton on Wednesday, but it is believed that no new offers were exchanged.

    The Rams made multiple offers to Bruce over the weekend, and proposed scenarios
    that might have prevented an outright release. But none of them worked, and
    Bruce was cut Sunday night.

    None of them involved paying Bruce more than $5 million in 2006. Interestingly,
    the three-year, $12 million contract signed Monday by defensive tackle La'Roi
    Glover pays him $5.506 million in Year 1, according to figures obtained by the
    Post-Dispatch.

    Glover received a signing bonus of $3 million, not the $3.5 originally
    reported. In any event, the $3 million bonus, plus a 2006 base salary of $2.506
    million, adds up to the $5.506 million.

    Besides Bruce, the futures of two other Rams starters in St. Louis appear to be
    in doubt. Archuleta will be courted by Chicago and Washington, according to
    league sources.

    It has been more difficult to get a read on Pickett, but Buffalo and Cleveland
    are possibilities. Both teams are looking for run-stopping defensive tackles,
    and former Rams assistant Bill Kollar is the defensive line coach in Buffalo.

    In practical terms, the Rams' interest in Pickett decreased Monday after
    signing Glover to a contract that averages $4 million a year. Under the old cap
    figure, it would have been difficult to follow that contract with another $4
    million a year for Pickett. Whether the bump in the cap changes those dynamics
    remains to be seen.

    In terms of middle linebacker, the fact that Derek Smith re-signed with San
    Francisco was a blow to the Rams. Smith, a consistently productive performer,
    was one of the Rams' prime targets in free agency.

    With Smith off the market, the Rams must readjust their game plan at the
    position. Unrestricted free agents Brad Kassell of Tennessee, Earl Holmes of
    Detroit and Sam Cowart of Minnesota all were starters for their teams last
    season, but none was as productive as Smith.

    There are other intriguing possibilities among players that could be strongside
    or middle linebackers: Washington's LaVar Arrington; San Francisco's Julian
    Peterson and Brandon Moore; Jacksonville's Akin Ayodele; Baltimore's Bart
    Scott; and Indianapolis' David Thornton.


  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: It's thinking-cap time for Rams

    the Rams' interest in Pickett decreased Monday after
    signing Glover
    I still have to disagree with this statement. All the talk this offseason has been about replacing Pickett, but the truth is we have to spots to fill....the rush DT, and the NT. Glover fills the rush DT spot, but unless everyone is ready to hand the NT spot to Kennedy full-time, Pickett's re-signing (or a capable replacement like Kemeoatua) is still as much a priority today as it was before Glover.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  3. #3
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    Re: It's thinking-cap time for Rams

    I think Pickett and Glover would make a good tandem,but we may never find out.
    My heart beats crazy and my blood runs wild

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    Re: It's thinking-cap time for Rams

    With Smith off the market
    Ouch! I was holding my breath that he would be our first signing on Friday. This hurts.
    Unrestricted free agents Brad Kassell of Tennessee, Earl Holmes of Detroit and Sam Cowart of Minnesota
    Kassell, but coming into his prime. Holmes has been rather productive until last year's injury, and you have to wonder how well a 33-year-old comes back after missing a third of the previous season. Cowart, another guy who won't be getting any better at 31 years of age, came off a fairly productive though not spectacular year with Minnesota.

    None of them excite me too much more than allowing Trev Faulk his shot. I don't see any of them, Faulk included as long-term solutions to MLB.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  5. #5
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    Re: It's thinking-cap time for Rams

    Over on Scout.com they have Lewis ranked 16th on the list of FA DT's and Pickett is listed six spots below him. I think there's still a good chance we could resign him.

    Unless Hasslet wants to go with a line up of Glover, Kennedy, Brian Howard, and Jeremy Calahan as the DT rotation.

    With no real solid FA MLB's on the market, this position will most likely be filled in the draft. I would think having a solid front four, in particular a good DT rotation would be needed to protect a rookie MLB.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


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  6. #6
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    Re: It's thinking-cap time for Rams

    There are other intriguing possibilities among players that could be strongside or middle linebackers: Washington's LaVar Arrington; San Francisco's Julian Peterson and Brandon Moore; Jacksonville's Akin Ayodele; Baltimore's Bart Scott; and Indianapolis' David Thornton.
    Arrington = Poston
    Peterson = Poston

    NEXT!!!

    Moore is mediocre...depth, nothing more

    Scott is a compelling pick-up. He did an admirable job filling the shoes of Ray Lewis last year. At 25, there are several good years in him, and he could be a long-term answer in the middle.

    Ayodele is in his prime at 26, but his production has trailed off the past 2 seasons. My guess is he will command a ton of money from some team, maybe us.

    Thornton, like Ayodele, has been pretty productive, but that has tailed off the past two years. His numbers are still good, but not what they were two years ago. And, like Ayodele, he could get a fairly fat pay-check if he's looking for it.

    In summary, I'd take Thornton, Ayodele, or Scott long before I'd even call Arrington or Peterson. The difference in their abilities is not great enough to overcome the Poston factor.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  7. #7
    bruce_wannabe Guest

    Re: It's thinking-cap time for Rams

    the POSTON FACTOR= 10 MILLION PLUS WHAT THEY ACTUALLY ARE WORTH

  8. #8
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    Re: It's thinking-cap time for Rams

    It was a shame the Whiners kept smith and there is no one out there i would be excited about signing, yea maybe Peterson IF he wasn't a Poston client!


    steve:clanram:
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  9. #9
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    Re: It's thinking-cap time for Rams

    I've been saying it for weeks.....I look for the Rams to move from the 11 pick. My gut tells me the move is up.....and snag AJ HAWK to take over the middle of this defense for years to come.

  10. #10
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    Re: It's thinking-cap time for Rams

    Shoot. I just seen you posted this and posted it too. Someone please delete mine.
    RamsFan16

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