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    St. Louis Rams Team Report

    USA TODAY


    St. Louis Rams Team Report


    With free agency set to begin at 3 pm Central time on March 13, several veteran quarterbacks could have an impact on which teams have serious interest in the Rams' second overall pick in the draft.
    With Andrew Luck expected to be selected by the Indianapolis Colts, that should place the Rams in the driver's seat for acquiring numerous picks from teams that covet Robert Griffin III.

    However, some teams like Washington or Miami might no longer be interested if they decide to sign Matt Flynn or Kyle Orton. Peyton Manning's status might also affect the situation. He is due a $28 million option bonus on March 8 and will become a free agent if the Colts elect not to pay it.

    Still, the rookie wage scale implemented last summer could lead a team to decide it's better to cast their lot with a rookie like Griffin rather than a veteran.

    Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff said, "The whole paradigm has changed in several ways. Griffin could be cheaper than Flynn. The fact that you can get a potential franchise quarterback for what the top picks are paid now makes it easier to justify trading a lot for it."

    While trades involving draft picks normally don't occur until draft day or at best a few days before, Demoff thinks there's a possibility something could happen at the start of the league year or at the league meeting at the end of March. Trades can't become official until the league year begins, but the deal can be in place in advance.

    By the time of the meetings (March 25-28 in Palm beach, Fla.), those top free-agent quarterbacks will likely have signed, and Griffin will have had his Pro Day (March 21).

    Concluded Demoff, "You can't tell what the musical chairs will do. Maybe someone will get left out and need Griffin. You don't know."

    Despite persistent speculation that the Rams might select Griffin and trade quarterback Sam Bradford, the Rams have consistently been steadfast in their stance that Bradford won't be dealt.

    Part of that is the financial aspect. The Rams have already invested $30 million in Bradford, and he has four years at $48 million remaining on his deal.

    A team acquiring Bradford would inherit that contract. Conversely, the second pick in this year's draft will end up with a contract worth about $22 million over four years.

    NOTES, QUOTES

    —With trade speculation at a fever pitch concerning the second overall selection in the draft, general manager Les Snead was asked on ESPN radio how many teams have inquired about a possible deal.

    Said Snead, "I won't give a number. I will say this: we've been approached by multiple teams. Some of them are obvious and some of them are not so obvious until you sit down and analyze the situation and understand where they're coming from."

    As for a potential trade, Snead said, "We talk it about daily. There are some pros and cons, depending on different circumstances. We have to determine internally what's best for the St. Louis Rams."

    In terms of the needs the team has entering free agency and the draft, Snead said, "There is probably not a position in this draft, other than QB, that we couldn't draft one of those players. But when you have a franchise QB you definitely would love to get explosive weapons for that player."

    —To no one's surprise, the Rams rejected the Convention and Visitors Commission's (CVC) $124 million plan to renovate the Edward Jones Dome.

    March 1 was the next step in the timeline that will eventually lead to a possible renovation of the stadium or it could lead to the Rams terminating their lease in 2015 or even attempting to exit the lease early.

    The CVC's proposal was presented to the Rams on Feb. 1, and it called for the team to pay for 52 percent of the renovation costs.

    By rejecting the offer, the Rams now have until May 1 to make a counteroffer to the CVC.

    "We look forward to receiving it," the CVC said in a statement.

    Jeff Rainford, chief of staff for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, said the rejection was not a surprise.

    "It's part of the dance," he said.

    When the Rams present their proposal, it will be relatively clear what owner Stan Kroenke's end game is and how much difference there will be in the two proposals. Once the Rams present their plan, there is a 46-day window for the two sides to negotiate.

    If there is no agreement by June 15, it will go to an arbitrator.

    QUOTE TO NOTES: "You go through some of the things he has experienced, taking over on an interim basis in Houston, seeing the team move from Houston to Nashville, playing their home games in Memphis and getting on a plane 16 games a year, then transition to Vanderbilt and having facilities in trailers, just going through the salary-cap purge and all those different things, that experience is something that you just can't get unless you live through it all. Jeff has seen just about everything there is to see in the NFL. He is not a guy that panics. He is not a guy that changes course without reason. That kind of perspective he has from all the things he has gone through will serve that franchise very well." - Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who was a defensive coordinator with the Titans, on Rams coach Jeff Fisher.

    STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

    TEAM NEEDS

    Wide receiver: The Rams are looking for talent outside the numbers that can support quarterback Sam Bradford. Brandon Lloyd is an unrestricted free agent the Rams say they are interested in bringing back, but Lloyd could be destined to follow offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to New England. Danario Alexander has shown the ability tom make plays down the field, but injuries have kept him off the field. The Rams will look closely at the league's unrestricted free agents as well as considering the selection of Justin Blackmon in the draft.

    Defensive tackle: This is a strong year for the position in the draft, and the Rams could be tempted, especially if they trade out of the second overall pick in the first round. Fred Robbins could be a salary-cap casualty. The other main players in the rotation last season were Justin Bannan, Gary Gibson and Darell Scott.

    Cornerback: Injury questions muddle the evaluation of this position goring forward. Ron Bartell was cleared to play late in the season after suffering a broken bone in his neck in the first game. Bradley Fletcher suffered a torn ACL in October during the team's bye, and it's unknown when he will be cleared to play. Jerome Murphy missed the entire season with a broken ankle suffered early in training camp. It has been a popular notion to link potential free-agent cornerback Cortland Finnegan to the Rams because he played for Fisher in Tennessee. However, the price tag could be very high for Finnegan.

    :ramlogo:

  2. #2
    UK Ramfan 83 is offline Registered User
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    Re: St. Louis Rams Team Report

    Les "I will say this..!" Snead has struck me as a real trooper since listening to his first couple of interviews. I have a great feeling about our future with him in the picture.

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