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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Thursday Afternoon--Wagoner

    Thursday, March 2, 2006

    - By now, it's clear that there will be no agreement on a new CBA today and the league will begin its "new year" without its problems solved. The biggest implication of this comes in terms of next year and a potential offseason that would be "uncapped." That means, there will be no salary cap and big money teams will be able to throw money around as they please. In addition, the players will get a taste of huge contracts and probably never return.

    - There is going to be plenty of action around the league today and tommorrow and there will likely be some big names hitting the open market. In addition to the players let go last night, the likes of Kansas City guard Will Shiels and Dallas defensive tackle La'Roi Glover were added to the list of casualties Thursday afternoon. Fortunately for the Rams, they were in solid cap position before the deadline and will probably be in an even better spot after ward.

    - The Rams officially made moves on their group of restricted and exclusive rights free agents Thursday. The holdup came from waiting for the league to settle on a cap number (nearly $95 million) and send out the totals for the tender offers. Kevin Curtis was tendered at the first round level, which should ensure his stay in St. Louis. Curtis isn't likely to sign a long-term deal right away, especially because of the lack of a collective bargaining agreement. If there is no agreement, the rules state that a restricted free agent will have to wait two additional years before being unrestricted. So, in Curtis' case, he has played three seasons which makes him restricted this year. Under normal circumstances, he would be able to take the one-year tender and become unrestricted after next season. But if these rules take place, Curtis would have to wait two more years to become unrestricted. In tendering Curtis at the first-round level, the Rams retain matching rights should another team come with an offer sheet and if the Rams choose not to match, they would receive a first-round choice as compensation.

    - St. Louis also tendered restricted free agents receiver Shaun McDonald, defensive end Brandon Green and cornerback DeJuan Groce at the original draft position level. In other words, they will make less than Curtis on a one-year deal, but the Rams will retain matching rights on outside contracts and if they choose not to match, will get a pick equal to where each player was drafted. So, if the Rams lose McDonald, Green or Groce, they would receive a fourth, a sixth or a fourth-round pick, respectively.

    - The Rams chose not to tender other restricted free agents running back Arlen Harris, safety Mike Furrey and cornerback Chris Johnson. It's a mild surprise to see Furrey released considering his ability on special teams and what he was able to do at safety in his first year at the position. I thought Furrey would be kept and had indications that he would, but clearly the team chose to go in a different direction. Furrey was not starter caliber, but was nice to have as a backup and did a fine job on special teams. Now, the Rams are extremely thin at safety with just Jerome Carter and Oshiomogho Atogwe under contract for next year. Now, it becomes imperative to retain Adam Archuleta, something that is beginning to look more difficult by the day. There is just not much of a market of safeties available and while there might be some nice options available in the draft, the Rams need to have some experience available back there.

    - As for exclusive rights free agents, the Rams brought back quarterback Jeff Smoker, as expected. Smoker bounced back and forth between the team and free agency a year ago, but has new life with quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier taking over. Smoker never got much of a fair shot last year so he will be given a legit crack this year with his former Michigan State coach Nussmeier handling the reins. Offensive lineman Blaine Saipaia also was brought back in a one-year deal. Linebacker Jeremy Loyd and offensive tackle Matt Morgan were not retained.

    - Isaac Bruce's contract extension is expected to be worked out by the end of the day. Bruce and the team are believed to be hammering out the details this afternoon. Linebacker Chris Claiborne is likely to be released by the end of the day as well.

    - Some names to keep in mind as free agency begins: Seattle defensive tackle Rocky Bernard and San Francisco linebacker Derek Smith.

    - Will have updates on Bruce, Claiborne and more as they become available.


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Thursday Afternoon--Wagoner

    In a strange way, the current collective bargaining strife could help the Rams, at least in the short run. For all the criticism the Front Office has received, you have to give them credit for their long-term fiscal responsibility.

  3. #3
    majorram's Avatar
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    Re: Thursday Afternoon--Wagoner

    when you look around the league I think our FO have have done a fine job to keep us out of Cap Hell....

    steve:clanram:
    "The breakfast Club"

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    Re: Thursday Afternoon--Wagoner

    In some ways we are sitting right in the middle of the best of both worlds. We have enough to go shopping without killing ourselves for any future decisions that might or might not be made. We make contracts heavy on the front end and on the back, saving us from doom that might happen as an argreement is made.

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    Re: Thursday Afternoon--Wagoner

    yeah there's always pro's and cons to keeping someone and all that crap, I think so far so good, My concern is more of the draft, we need the right players...


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  6. #6
    maineram Guest

    Re: Thursday Afternoon--Wagoner

    Being in decent cap shape with the current contract status, and a new coaching staff on board is very reassuring. Bringing in the right talent at the right price will be interesting to see. There should be plenty of talent in this new market to bring the D back to respectability.

    Thank-you Jay & John

    Maineram - :clanram:

  7. #7
    MoonJoe's Avatar
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    Re: Thursday Afternoon--Wagoner

    The FO has been good with money, but they let their ego's get in the way sometimes and JZ and JS are not good with people.

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