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Thread: Wagoner: What's next for Rams in free agency?

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    Wagoner: What's next for Rams in free agency?

    What's next for Rams in free agency?
    March, 17, 2014
    By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com

    EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams have said goodbye to their share of free agents in the past week and held on to a pair of projected starters in guard Rodger Saffold and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar.

    Although the Rams' relative inactivity on the market was expected, perhaps nobody expected it to be this slow. Keeping Saffold was a big, albeit lucky, move that allowed the team to retain its top offseason priority. Dunbar was a low-cost, logical signing that helps solidify another linebacker spot and will give Dunbar a chance to rebound from what was essentially a lost 2013 season.

    Aside from those two moves, the Rams have spent time vetting a handful of outside free agents who have visited St. Louis. As of Monday morning, none of those visits have materialized into contracts, however.

    Here's a rundown of the players the Rams have expressed interest in or visited with in the past week.

    • Offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz is the only outside player the Rams openly chased on the first day of free agency. He figured as a potential Saffold replacement but before the Rams could get a visit, Schwartz was on a plane to New York to sign with the Giants.

    • In that same vein, the Rams began bringing in options as possible Saffold replacements in guards Davin Joseph and Daryn Colledge. Both visited St. Louis and left without contracts. Of course, the Saffold saga broke the Rams way while that duo was in town, so any plans to potentially sign either right away might have shifted dramatically with Saffold back in the fold. The Rams could still have interest in adding one of the veteran linemen but they could also wait for prices to drop further. With one-year deals already becoming popular on the market, it seems neither Joseph nor Colledge would command much money or more than a one-year deal.

    • The Rams apparently feel better about their situation at cornerback and safety than outside observers. Their interest in Tennessee cornerback Alterraun Verner was superficial at best and a smoke screen at worst. Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd was never an option at his price. As for others, the Rams haven't even visited with a corner or safety a week in. There are still some options out there in free agency, but the market for defensive backs has been extremely active so far, leaving little from which to choose.

    • The Rams visited with wide receiver Kenny Britt over the weekend but he too departed without a contract. Britt is apparently healthy and also likely will land somewhere on a one-year "prove it" deal, but reports indicated he was going to visit with New England and Washington and perhaps more before making a decision.

    • Quarterback Shaun Hill is expected to visit with the Rams on Monday and could quickly materialize as the veteran backup option to replace Kellen Clemens, who signed with the San Diego Chargers. Hill is 34 but is familiar with Rams quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti. The Rams attempted to land Hill in 2012, but he chose Detroit instead. Hill would make sense as a veteran placeholder until a potential 2014 draft pick would be ready to step in as the No. 2 behind starter Sam Bradford.

    • The usual "waves" of free agency that take a month or so to play out have crashed on shore much faster than usual. The addition of the three-day, pre-free agency negotiating window is probably the reason for the faster spending because agents have a good feel for what clients can land and it's allowed the middle class to find jobs at a record rate. At this point, no matter who the Rams look to add it'll almost certainly be coming from the bargain bin.


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    Re: Wagoner: What's next for Rams in free agency?

    I take this as the Rams staff is convinced they have what is necessary to compete. Perhaps the advent of the new DC has them staying away from high priced safety.......I see no reason for this team not to be ready. The utes need to all step up. Givens, Austin, Bailey, Jenkins, Johnson, Alec, Quick, Zac, D Rich.....If they are not ready, Rams drafted poorly. Mix in the veterans, led by SAM........no excuse territory for the Rams this year..........The Talent is there. The well paid coaching staff is there. And we have great draft pick positioning. That is why i think we have seen the inactivity in the FA market.....

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    Re: Wagoner: What's next for Rams in free agency?

    Weather the Rams got lucky or not, they still landed one of the top free agents this year. We all knew they had enough to get one maybe two big names. They got one and a good one at that.

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    Re: Wagoner: What's next for Rams in free agency?

    I have no problem with the Rams inactivity with free agency. Those who could make a difference were out of our price range and those that are in it are just going to be overpaid. I think the Finnegan signing and subsequent performance left a bad taste in some important mouths in the Rams front office. Regardless, if Jeff and Les see a player shake loose whom they feel will make a difference, I don't think they'll hesitate to make the right move.

    I would much rather see us focus on the draft and come away with some dynamite rookies. This is a deep draft and I'd rather see us load-up on picks or game-plan the UDFA period.

    Go Rams!
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    Re: Wagoner: What's next for Rams in free agency?

    Keep in mind last year we only had seven draft picks. This year we have nine and could easily have eleven if we trade back in a deep draft. No need to spend money on stop gap players that we will have to cut to keep draft picks.
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    Re: Wagoner: What's next for Rams in free agency?

    Agreed, with above posts.

    I do think a few things would be great though, in order of most important to least:
    1) Sign an OL from free agency. This way, we add a little more depth and don't have to draft more OL in the later rounds. I still thinking even with a FA pickup, we have to draft an OL in one of those first 3 picks.
    2) Sign a vet back-up QB. Always good to have that and as the article said groom an eventual young back-up
    3) Not as important but just really want this to happen, sign Kenny Britt

    I think those are pretty much the only 3 FA pickups we need, 2 if you really think about it.


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    Re: Wagoner: What's next for Rams in free agency?

    I think we will see one more player on the OL signed, but it will be a player that would be a so-so starter but a decent player in spot duty. A back up QB will likely be signed also.

    This team is going to be built through the draft though

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    Re: Wagoner: What's next for Rams in free agency?

    Quote Originally Posted by RuffRams View Post
    Agreed, with above posts.

    I do think a few things would be great though, in order of most important to least:
    1) Sign an OL from free agency. This way, we add a little more depth and don't have to draft more OL in the later rounds. I still thinking even with a FA pickup, we have to draft an OL in one of those first 3 picks.
    2) Sign a vet back-up QB. Always good to have that and as the article said groom an eventual young back-up
    3) Not as important but just really want this to happen, sign Kenny Britt

    I think those are pretty much the only 3 FA pickups we need, 2 if you really think about it.
    I agree with all your points except #3. I would rather find a WR in the draft who won't cost us as much as Britt. With Britt's off-field issues he could be a locker room disruption as well.

    If you're going to look at the Titans, I would rather make a move for CJ2K, if he's cut loose. I think he would add a lot to our running game and as we learned this seson it's our first option on offense. He would be costly, but adds a dimension we don't really have. I like DRich, but he's gotta be more able to make guys miss. CJ2K still does.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: Wagoner: What's next for Rams in free agency?

    Lets see who has been active...Browns and Raiders whom have the most money to spend. But still regardless what they spend this year they both are likely to be outside teams looking in at the end of the 2014 season

    If there was ever a case of long-term mismanagement, go no further then the Cowboys and Redskins. Thankfully they both are in the same division. So it will come down to either of those two teams who does a better job straightening out their pass mistakes to chase the Eagles/Giants.

    Denver must be thinking the time is NOW to chase that Super Bowl ring. Certainly they are contenders and are spending money and mortgaging their long-term strength. Not sure what their 3 year plan is or even if they have one. Other then Oakland, their division is more or less quiet with FA.

    Some teams are just trying to hang on and hold the ground they have. I think the Patriots are in survival mode to remain credible while for the Jets, Dolphins and Bills they have to play catch-up to become respectable.

    Its when it comes to the Falcons/Saints/Panthers I have no idea about. The Squawks/49whinners want to keep what they have and improve on it. Yet the Cards coming off their surprise showing want to solidify what they have. I might be wrong, but they out of the NFC West are doing more wheeling and dealing in FA; hopefully someone can confirm or correct me.

    The Rams, I think have yet to find someone that just jumps out at them as a must get in FA. Now if such became available, am sure the Rams will kick it into overdrive. But I suspect the Rams are holding out for little nuggets of talent perhaps after the draft and closer to training camp and do so on the cheap

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